• Lake Como
  • Castelrotto in the Dolomites
  • Venice
  • Birth of Venus in Florence's Uffizi Museum
  • Vernazza in the Cinque Terre
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • The Duomo in Siena
  • Assisi
  • Wine Tasting near Orvieto
  • Colosseum in Rome

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Italy in 17 Days Tour

Rick Steves Best of Italy tour is exactly that — the very best. Starting on beautiful Lake Como, this tour treats you to Italy's must-see destinations: timeless Venice, Renaissance Florence, Eternal Rome and St. Francis' Assisi. You'll also soak in Italy's quieter side: hill town vineyards, mountain-ringed Alpine meadows, cliff-clinging Cinque Terre villages, and cozy fishing harbors — all accompanied by memorable meals and local wines. And Rick's guides will make Italy's art, history and dolce vita come vividly to life. Join us for the Best of Italy in 17 Days!

Dates & Prices

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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 23 group sightseeing events • Lake Como ferry pass • Verona walking tour • South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology (Ötzi the Iceman) • Venice walking tour • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Uffizi Gallery tour • Florence's Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's David) • Pisa visit • Pesto demonstration • Orientation for "vacation" day on Italian Riviera • Hill town visit • Siena walking tour and Duomo • Siena contrada visit and dinner • Artisan workshop visit • Assisi walking tour • Umbrian wine tasting • Orvieto orientation and San Brizio Chapel tour • Evening walk through Rome • Ancient Rome walking tour • Colosseum tour • Roman Forum tour • Pantheon •  Borghese Gallery tour ...and more
  • All group transportation from Varenna to Rome
  • 16 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • $100 Shopping Spree (per household) at the Rick Steves Travel Store to get guidebooks and gear for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2016
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

The sleepy Lake Como village of Varenna is a quick, easy train connection from Milan. At 5 p.m. you'll meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel for a get-acquainted session. We'll then take a village orientation walk, pointing out places for dinner on your own tonight. Sleep in Varenna (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Cruising Lake Como

Equipped with your included Lake Como ferry boat pass, you'll have the entire day and evening free to explore the villages and waterways of romantic Lake Como, including the elegant town of Bellagio. Or hike up into the Alpine foothills for unforgettable vistas. At breakfast, your guide can help you plan your day. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 3: Verona and the Dolomites

We'll drive to Verona this morning for a walking tour of the town's medieval center, including the bustling Piazza Erbe market square and the ornate Scaligeri tombs. You'll then have free time to grab some lunch, see "Juliet's balcony," and marvel at the Roman Arena — today a popular opera venue. Then we'll drive high up into Italy's Dolomite Alps, where the locals speak German first, Italian second. We'll have a hearty Tirolean dinner together at our Alpine hotel. Sleep peacefully in the Alpe di Siusi area (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Hiking the Dolomites

From your totally-yodely home base, you'll have all day to explore the dramatic Dolomites, Italy's hiking and skiing mecca. Choose from an array of challenging hikes, or join your guide (weather permitting) — and the free-roaming cows — for a peaceful walk through Europe's largest Alpine meadow. Maybe you'll even watch colorful paragliders float on the wind as you relax outside a mountain hut café. We'll regroup tonight for dinner at our cozy hotel. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 5: The Iceman and Venice

We'll head downhill from the Dolomites with a stop in Bolzano to visit its most famous resident: the 5,300-year-old, naturally-preserved remains of Ötzi the Iceman, along with a museum exhibit on prehistoric European life. After some free time for lunch, we'll set a course for Venice, where we'll board a vaporetto boat for a Grand Canal ride to our hotel in Venice's historic heart. Tonight we'll take an alleys-and-canals orientation stroll before setting you loose for dinner on your own. Sleep in Venice (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 6: Exploring Venice

Our local guide will join us this morning for a historical walking tour, with a modern Venetian's-eye view, through the backstreets of Venice. Along the way, we'll learn about the city's remarkable past and its challenging future. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore the imposing Doge's Palace, maybe take in a church concert, waltz on St. Mark's Square, or pub-crawl your way through this unique city. Later tonight, your guide will help organize an optional romantic gondola ride for those who are interested. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Florence and David

We'll drive straight to Florence this morning, and hit the ground walking with a Renaissance tour of the city's historic center. We'll see and learn about Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our walk at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Sleep in Florence (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Renaissance Florence

This morning we'll devote our time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — including works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and more. The rest of the day is yours to stroll across the delightfully medieval Ponte Vecchio, visit more of the city's art-filled churches and museums, browse the colorful markets, and find a special trattoria for dinner on your own. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Pisa and Cinque Terre Villages

Winding our way towards the coast, we'll first stop to gaze at Pisa's leaning tower and Romanesque baptistery. Today's final destination is Italy's enchanting Cinque Terre fishing villages, laced together with hiking paths that meander between vineyards and the deep blue sea. Upon arrival, your guide will give you an introduction to the town, leaving you with plenty of free time this afternoon to explore on your own. We'll regroup tonight for an entertaining pesto-making lesson and special pesto lasagna dinner at a local family restaurant. Sleep in Monterosso (2 nights, may be split between 2 hotels). Train: ¼ hr. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate

Day 10: Exploring the Cinque Terre

You'll take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. Hike along the trails, taking in lots of fresh air and panoramic views between Cinque Terre villages. Or pick a village where you can spend your day exploring the stairways and alleyways, sunning yourself on the rocks, or sipping cappuccino and catching up on your journal at an outdoor café. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 11: Tuscany and Siena

Today we'll venture into the heart of magical Tuscany, stopping on the way to poke around the quiet lanes of a friendly hill town. Saving the best for last, we'll take an orientation tour of our home for the next two nights — remarkable Siena — a "living museum" brimming with some of Italy's finest Gothic architecture and perhaps its best public square, Il Campo. Tonight we'll visit and enjoy dinner at one of the town's proud contrade — 17 neighborhoods that compete for glory in the famous Palio horse races. Sleep in Siena (2 nights). Train: ¼ hr. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Savoring Siena

This morning we'll take a meandering walking tour through this one-of-a-kind hill town. We'll tour the elaborate cathedral and learn how Siena's rich medieval history and rivalry with Florence shaped this city. Then you'll be well oriented for your free afternoon and evening to enjoy Siena, from its dramatic city hall tower to its well-respected enoteca (wine bar/museum). No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 13: Assisi and Wine Tasting

Let's make a modern-day pilgrimage to the hill town of Assisi where, in a time of unprecedented church wealth, St. Francis inspired a refocused spirituality through poverty, humility, and the beauty of nature in Umbria. As we learn about the life of the saint, we'll take a walking tour of the town and its beautifully-frescoed Basilica of St. Francis. Then we'll wind our way across Umbria to our agriturismo destination: a country hotel that is also a working family winery. We'll end our day amid the peaceful vines and olive groves, tasting several of our host's award-winning wines, and sharing a country-style dinner together. Sleep near Orvieto (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 14: Hill Town Italy

This morning we'll visit Umbria's grand hill town of Orvieto. We'll get oriented to sights around the cathedral square, including Signorelli's amazing frescoes in the Chapel of San Brizio and Italy's liveliest cathedral facade. Then you'll be free to wander through the medieval old town and its shops filled with colorful pottery. This afternoon we'll return to our agriturismo, with plenty of time for a countryside walk before dinner together. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 15: Rome's Baroque Treasures

Today we'll drive straight to the Eternal City of Rome. After an orientation to the neighborhood, we'll enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Borghese Gallery. Bernini's most graceful and lifelike sculptures reside here – his athletic David and delicate Apollo and Daphne – as well as masterpieces by Canova, Caravaggio, Titian, and Raphael. Then we'll wander towards the Spanish Steps, where you'll be set free for dinner on your own. Later we'll regroup for a floodlit, fountain-splashing, la dolce vita stroll through the heart of Rome, soaking up the city's evening ambiance at the lively campos and classy piazzas. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). Bus 2 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 16: A Walk Through Ancient Rome

We'll spend the morning uncovering the heart of the city, as a local guide takes us through the larger-than-life Colosseum, and the birthplace of Ancient Rome, the Roman Forum, and the awe-inspiring Pantheon. The rest of the day is free to see Michelangelo's Moses at St. Peter-in-Chains Church, enjoy the panoramic city view from atop the Victor Emmanuel Monument, or make a modern-day pilgrimage to St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican City. This evening, we'll have our final dinner together, sharing memories and toasting our newly-made friends. Salute! No bus. Walking: strenuous. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 17: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Rome's airports by taxi or train. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Italy in 17 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Mary

Rantoul, IL

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an adventure of a lifetime for a 72-yr old first-time traveler. I prepared with long walks and climbing stairs, so was able to fully participate except for missing the scheduled tour of a glass workshop one morning. The 100 degree weather was punishing, and I would only do this again in a cooler season. However, this was the only time my son was available to accompany me. I'll never forget this wonderful experience and my fine traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My evening gondola ride in the moonlight remains a vivid memory for me. Thinking this was a touristy thing that could be skipped, I was surprised by the romance of the moonlight, the quiet except for the water moved by the oar, the convergence of our 3 gondolas at one point for a seranade and being greeted by a couple dining within feet of us outside a building."

Carol

Apex, NC

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! What an amazing trip! Sarah was a fantastic guide and Deno was a terrific bus driver and companion. We saw so much and did so much! It was the right mix of "go, go, go," and "sit back and enjoy the scenery." There were many options for free time and Sarah was able to point us in the right directions for our interests. We made new friends, ate new foods, traveled new ways to new places, and loved every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites were magnificent."

Robert

Urbana, IL

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour Italy with my mother. I could not have asked for a more organized, thoughtful, and educational experience. The guides were excellent and as were the choices of hotels and restaurants. Excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. The views from the hotels in Varenna and Altarocca. Turning the corner to see the Duomo and Michelangelo's David in Florence. Tasting the pesto lasagna in Cinque Terre. Entering the Coliseum."

Nancy

Wayne, PA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Sarah was very helpful in guiding us in how things worked in Italy from the pull string in the shower, to tipping practices and how to use the public transportation. She taught us basic words and phrases in Italian and the history of Italy from the Romans, to WW II and the present day. We had great regional cuisine that on our own we wouldn't have known about or tried. We had a wonderful time traveling with a small congenial group of people from a crossed the U.S and Canada.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was when after a sleepless night on the plane, a train ride to Milan, a subway ride to the Duomo in Milan, followed by a train ride to Varenna and a short walk to the beautiful Lake Como and our hotel that I realized I was in Italy. The trip of a lifetime was about to begin."

Eric

Medford, NJ

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed all we did and saw on our tour. This was our first Rick Steves tour and will look to do more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Pantheon was something I did not expect. I thought it was a Roman historical site that had its materials used for other buildings like the Colosseum and Forum. It was not, the grandeur was as magnificent as when it was constructed."

Santana

Edmond, OK

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 30th birthday present to myself and it was the best money I've ever spent. It was so nice to have a stress-free, semi-planned out trip. I'm a teacher, so one of the last things I want to do in the summer is make a lot of choices. This was a perfect getaway, not to mention I went solo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment (s) were the gelato, Cinque Terre and the wine resort we stayed at in Umbria. The views and vineyards were to die for at both locations. The Leaning Tower was also one, with a gondola ride in Venice, the Toman Colosseum and the Dolomites."

Kim

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was well planned and smooth. We were very dissapointed in the hotel change that forced us down from the comfortable Italian Alps and into the hostel like hotel in Bolzano which was challenged to provide even a working fan. Nobody slept, and we missed out on an important part of the tour. I did enjoy the sights, but felt it was far too Church-Heavy. If I had known how much time would be spent touring churches and talking about churches, I would have considered a new plan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many of the places we visited were just amazing, including Venice, the Alps, Monterosso, the Alta Rocca resort, etc. As for sights, I was most impressed with Utzi-just fascinating. We could have spent far less time at the Tower of Pisa"

Jeff

Allentown, PA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first experience with a tour. We feel our Guide Sarah taught us so much about the culture, customs, art, and history as we went along, it enriched everything we saw, heard, and tasted. Our entry into new towns was well-organized and provided great grounding for our own exploration later. The hotels were comfortable and well-situated for the touring we did, and a couple of the higher-end lodgings were a real treat (Victoria at Lake Como and Altarocca Resort in Umbria).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We hiked Cinque Terre, made it to 4 out of the 5 towns, sampled food in each of them, and swam at the end to celebrate. We are hikers, and this one rates up there with Grand Canyon in Arizona as an all-time favorite. There were many small wow moments, including most dinners (especially the visit to Selvan contrade in Siena), the Alpe Adige walk. I'm thinking back now, there are so many, at least one a day!"

David

Wayne, PA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent time on the tour and have many fond memories of the trip. This was the first time we have taken a guided tour so it took a little getting used to but after the first few days we had figured out the program.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was an awesome city to visit. Very different from other places we had been. We really appreciated having a hotel very centrally located to many of the sites made it easy to explore on our own."

Dave

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour visited all the places in Italy we wanted to visit, plus many more that we did not know existed. It was well organized and highly informative thanks to our tour guide Sarah. This was by far our best vacation ever! We were so sad to say goodbye to all our new friends we met during this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every city we visited had a "wow" moment, but a random, unannounced stop at the Florence American Cemetery was not only a "wow," but an amazing experience. None of us knew there were thousands of WWII soldiers buried in Italy. We all had the honor of placing a flag on a soldiers grave. That was emotional "wow" moment."

Susan

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We went on the Best of Italy tour to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We've never done an organized tour before and we weren't sure if it would be for us or not. We decided to give it a try, and are we ever glad we did! The Best of Italy tour is simply amazing! I could not have organized a detailed and thorough trip such as this on my own. We had so many experiences that regular tourists don't get on their own. I am recommending Rick Steve's tours to everyone I know!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many wow moments to choose from. All the places we visited were on my "bucket list". It was amazing just being in each place! I would have to say the group dinner in Siena and learning about the Il Palio was an amazing night that regular tourists don't experience. The wine resort in Orvieto came at just the right time to provide some R & R. The resort was stunning! Our favorite of all the hotels, so luxurious! The stop at the Florence/American Cemetery was an emotional surprise."

Dallas

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. Excellent balance between planned and free activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to single out!"

Stephen

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great tour that met the expectations outlined in the various documents that I read beforehand. Good combination of art, history, culture, food and amazing scenery. Good combination of small town and large city visits. I loved the free time that was available, enabling the tour to to be personalised. Virginia was an excellent tour guide who made the group feel relaxed, together and kept us on time. Visiting the small towns with their history, culture, vibrancy and views was a key plus for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were 2 WOW moments - Cinque Terre for its amazing scenery and spectacular views. Great swimming spot and most relaxing after the heat and hustle and bustle of Florence. The hike from Vernazza to Monterosso was an unforgettable experience. The first day at Varenna overlooking the lake was majestic. The free time to explore the small lakeside towns was an excellent way to start the adventure."

Joy

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed the two days at each stop and the free time we had. Vrginia is very knowledgeable about her country and conveys her love of history, Italy and art very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Castelrotto area and the mountains we trekked over!"

Susan

Mountlake Terrace, WA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides make the trip. we had good guides. Less heat and humidity would have made the trip more perfect. One option I would consider providing in the future is the option for a cooking class. Wine tasting are fine, except I don't drink and neither does my niece. We would have loved to have taken a pizza making class or a pasta cooking class. Perhaps that is something to consider for the day at the wine resort.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually that whole trip was a "wow" moment. I has a basic idea of the places we were going and the things we would see. The other "wow" moment was how much time we had to explore each city on our own. I really enjoyed that aspect of the tour."

Robin

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a fantastic time! I thought the tour had the perfect balance of structured activity and free time for you to explore on your own!. I definitely would do a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many. I loved Varenna, Cinque Terre and the Dolomites."

Edna

Lewisburg, TN

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized, well-paced, inclusive of a variety of experiences that will be memorable for a lifetime! Virginia's sweet manner but knowledge of Italian culture and history was such a bonus. The local guides were also excellent in helping us personalize what could have been boring historical information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One was definitely the comfort of the bus travel. Was so confident we were in good hands. Outside of that...it would have to be the 360-degree view atop the Alpine meadow at the Dolomites. In addition, our lodging in such a quaint hotel there was such a treat."

Marilyn

Western Springs, IL

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the tour and plans. The 95degree+ weather made some of our hotel stays and tours very challenging. I don't think the tour plans should have changed at all,. This was a situation that should be reviewed to see if there might be some opportunities to improve the experience under this type of weather. Perhaps they are not . I was thrilled with the places that we saw, the pacing of touring , bus time, meals together and free time met my needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Any of the views from the small cities on top of the hills. I loved visiting the smaller cities."

Daniel

Western Springs, IL

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed with all the sites we visited and the real sense of history and pride in the locations we stayed at and toured.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that I had two WOW moments. The first was the alpine walk in the Dolomites "WOW". The second was seeing David for the first time when we were in Florence."

Lori

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing from start to finish! Much of our time was jam-packed with sightseeing and visiting museums and historic sites but we also had a good amount of free time to venture out on our own or to just rest. Our tour group was made up of many different types and ages of people, including 3 teenagers. All of the group members were pleasant, interesting and fun to be around. We learned so much about Italian culture and history from our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wows" on this trip. If I have to pick a few they would start with the lakefront hotel on Lake Como in charming Varenna. The sunset gondola ride in Venice..complete with fabulous musicians! The hike in the Alpi di Suisi in the Dolomites...alpine views that amaze! Hiking the trail in Cinque Terre..glorious vistas! Dinner at the contrada in Siena....we learned first hand about the exciting Palio races. The wine resort outside of Orvieto...perfect place to relax and rejuvenate before Rome."

Patricia

Schooleys Mountain, NJ

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great cultural experience for myself, my husband and our fifteen year old son. I loved all the places we toured. Loved the pace and the variation in hotels. Loved having some relaxing days- Cinque Terre (relaxed at the beach) and Altarocco Wine Resort (spent the day in the pool) Loved all the information and education, truly a learning vacation. We also loved Dario our bus driver.

George

Lewisburg, TN

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Th= village where the Dolamites were. Was it cost"

Michele

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were looking for the trip of a lifetime and we got and MORE!!!! Alfio was an amazing guide and leader!!! He was extremely professional , knowledgeable and passionate for what he does. We learned so much from him. Yet, he was able to relax and have fun with us. He made it such a personal and "family like" environment. Words can not express the fabulous experience we had!!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is such a difficult one because it was all WOW!!!! I think I really enjoyed the smaller destinations. I loved the dolomites, Bolzano, Varenna, Umbria, Sienna and of course, Cinqua Terra. I loved seeing the locals shopping at the outdoor markets and sitting on benches enjoying a gelato. I seem to enjoy the not so popular tourist destinations!!!! I like seeing locals!"

Darlene

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed our Best of Italy Tour. With the exception of the heat wave that decided to tag along, everything about the trip was magical. The cities we visited were amazing and the attractions we saw were breathtaking. The hotels we stayed in ranged from nice and accommodating to over the top luxurious! The best part of the trip was all the friendships that were made.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of our memorable wow moments was when we arrived at our accommodations for Orvieto. The Altrarocca Wine Resort was beyond our expectations. The winery was beautiful, the wine tasting was fun, the group dinner was fantastic and the infinity pool was the best! While we opted for the Orvieto tour, there was a spa that I hear was wonderful. It was a nice break from all the site seeing. If we were to return to Italy, we would absolutely stay there for a longer period of time."

Pamela

Bath, ME

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour is called "The Best of Italy" for a good reason. The tour was absolutely fabulous. From the first sight of Lake Como to visiting the Pantheon in Rome, each day was a new thrill.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Again, seeing Lake Como with really seemed like a vision and, of course, seeing Michelangelo's David at the Academy in Florence."

Monika

Saint Augustine, FL

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a dream vacation and the trip of a lifetime for me. I was awed by the history, architecture and artwork we saw. Loved the allotted free time we had to venture out and explore on our own. It is amazing how much we saw and learned. I'm ready for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments it's hard to pick just one. However, my first "wow" was arriving in Varenna and looking out across Lake Como from our hotel room. The view was impressive!"

Kaitlin

Redding, CA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour.. a lot to see. We had a lot of great meals. It was a fun time with the tour group. You are definitely touring, not vacationing. I would go back for a vacation, not a tour. Three weeks was too long for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite time was hearing David and his friend play their guitars and sing at the winery,(Orvieto) Everyone had a great time singing and dancing."

Mark

Saint Augustine, FL

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After a brutal 2 day trip to get to Italy the view from our room overlooking lake Como made it all worthwhile. Viewing michaelangelo's David"

Pauline

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I can only say the trip was fantastic with plenty of history, art, sightseeing, nice rooms w/ air conditioning, delicious group meals, and a great Italian tour guy, Alfio, knowledgeable and multi talented. I will always remember Alfio's last words, to go with the flow, strive for your passions, to always learn, and expand your horizons.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Have visited most of the popular areas of Venice, Pisa, Florence, Assisi, Siena, & Rome. But was awed by the beauty of Lake Como, the Dolomites, Cinque Terre & Umbria. Enjoyed the long hikes, scenic beauty , and sitting down to share lunch or colazione with our family of 17 days. But was awed by the cathedral frescos and centuries old paintings with detail and a story. The tour guides of each area from Venice, Siena, Assisi to the Vatican and colosseum were knowledgeable and fun."

Kelly

Indianpolis, IN

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went looking to have an easy introduction to Italy and ended up with the trip of a lifetime! I am seriously wondering how any future trips can ever come close to measuring up to this trip. While initially concerned as a solo traveler, it turned out to be a non-issue. Our guide Alfio and the other travelers were incredibly friendly and inclusive - made some lifetime friends - as well as ate, drank, saw and experienced so much of Italy - a true italian experience "la dolce vita!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome. While was a tough way to end the tour, it helped coming off Orvieto and the Alterossa Winery and Spa experience (two thumbs up). The forum, colosseum, sisteen chapel and the vatican city were all so amazing and made even better with the private tours and local guides. That said, Lake Como and Varenna made for an amazing start to the tour - loved the free day to ferry from town to town!"

Jeffrey

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful panorama of the art, culture, history, and beauty that Italy has to offer. I would have a hard time picking a favorite from the places we went - each was so unique and special. The surprise visit to Certaldo was a treat, as was the live band and dancing at the Altarocca Wine Resort. We had a nice group of people to travel with and get to know a bit. The pacing of the tour was good: a mixture of intense activity days with less intense activity days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David up close brought tears to my eyes. A close second were the Bernini sculptures in the Borghese Gallery."

Debra

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous experience/time. Our traveling companions became family. Quite literally. We had an age range of 16 years old to the 70's & we all seemed to mesh rather well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a hard time picking out one "wow" tour area. I absolutely fell in love with Cinque Terre however, I fell in love with something from each place we visited."

Stacey

Jefferson, GA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was exactly what I wanted - to see the country and learn about the culture and history of Italy. Our guide Karin was a lot of fun and made the times on the bus enjoyable. I gained a greater appreciation of art and its place in history. Loved our small tour group. Everyone was so nice and friendly and it was easier to get to know everyone which made traveling together fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments but the beauty of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is going to be my first choice. It is filled front to back, top to bottom with mosaics. You will not believe how talented they were to create the varying shades of color and create the expressions by piecing together very small pieces of color! A close second is seeing Florence from the hilltop at sunset. Gorgeous. Really, Florence is just one huge museum in itself!"

Natalie

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Our group leaders as well as the group itself were exceptional! We felt like a big family touring Italy together, watching out for one another as well as sharing ideas and experiences I am a single mom traveling with my two teenagers, 16 and 17 years old and I was concerned about being with so many couples and me being the only single mother. My concerns left as soon as Mikaela and Jack were embraced by everyone in the group! It was truly an amazing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David"

Colleen

Thunder Bay, ON

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent. The tour guides were amazing.They were knowledgable and helpful and guided us through the whole experience, they took very good care of us. They went out of their way to make the tour interesting and enjoyable and to make the history of the area come alive!!Wonderful country, wonderful people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several. Walking in the museum in Florence and seeing the statue of David was amazing as well as seeing the Coliseum. The night in Venice when we went for the gondola ride was so enjoyable and memorable. I also enjoyed the evening at the Altarocco wine resort. The bar-b-qued meal we had there was so delicious as well as the impromptu entertainment by the band... very enjoyable evening."

James

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Our guides kept us informed on Italian history, art, and culture. Our only disappointment was not being able to tour the Vatican Museum. We were told by email only one month before the tour that the Vatican would be closed on the scheduled Monday because of a religious holiday. The company should have told customers prior to registering about this holiday as it happens every year. We had already booked air and had other travel commitments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Art and architecture in Florence."

Kim

Chanute, KS

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw and experienced world-class paintings, sculpture, buildings and more that we had only heard about or read about before. We did this with a group of other travelers who were just as excited as we were to be there, many of whom added to our understanding because of their previous experiences in travel or their own professions. Our guides were amazing in their depth of knowledge of the areas we were visiting, as well as the historical background of the places, the sights, and the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's so hard to pick just one, but I think being in the Coliseum with a local guide who could explain exactly what we were looking at and how that compared to what ancient Romans would have seen was priceless for us."

Daniel

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace of the tour was challenging but doable. Spending two nights for each stop provides just enough relaxation to move forward to the next point of interest. I learned many things about Italian life, the Italians and the art that has been created by Italians over the centuries. The tour guides, we had two, were excellent, (Karin & Stacey). Both are knowledgeable, well organized, and fluent. They are fun people I would travel with either again without hesitation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop at the Wine/Spa/Resort just before traveling to Rome provided a view of the countryside that I never tired of seeing."

Monica

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first trip to Europe together. The tour guides, itinerary, and tour members exceeded all of our expectations. We plan to take future tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking along the trails in Cinque Terre together with other tour members and looking forward to telling the tour guides and other members about our adventures."

Christy

Davis, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing adventure. I loved our time in Italy. We were able to experience so much of the country. What a vibrant culture, filled with history, memorable art, delicious food and wine, and friendly people. Our tour was well-planned, and we had excellent guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited fabulous historical sites and artwork in so many cities. However, we loved Cinque Terre -- what a wonderful respite. The villages along the coast were gorgeous, as was the ocean. The hosts of our hotels were particularly gracious. We loved the pesto-making demonstration, and the pasta dinner was delicious. We enjoyed taking the trains and hiking between the villages. We would love to return to Cinque Terre."

Marilyn

Laramie, WY

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hi There Fellow Travelers. This is Marilyn from Laramie. Having returned from a 17 day tour of Italy less than a week ago I have to tell you it was the best experience ever! Our tour guide, Sarah, was wonderful with all her information, organizational skills and willingness to be a surrogate mother to 26 adults. She truly made the trip fantastic. All the stress factors that come with traveling were removed. (planning lodging, transportation, admission into museums and galleries)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of many "wows" was our serenaded gondola ride at sunset down the canals in Venice. It was a continuous 45 minute WOW. The singer had an amazing voice, the guitarist was wonderful. Together with the surroundings the experience was over the top!"

Regina

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience in every way! Sarah, our guide was phenomenal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many from the view from our hotel in Varenna, the unbelievable Dolmites, Lake Como, breathtaking Venice, the town of Siena and the duomo of St. Francis."

George

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hotels were better than expected... saw lots of cathedrals, art and culture. Our guide (Sarah) was outstanding.. helpful and well informed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The statue of DAVID and Cinque Terra.. wonderful"

Carolina

Beaumont, CA

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent we had a wonderful vacation Sara our tour guide was , professional everything was perfect the rooms , the transportation, the Italian lessons the tours, behind our expectations, excellent bus driver, food accommodations fist class. I'm recommending this tour to my son and my daughter and their family, our friends we are so please with all your services. thank you so much Sara please don't change anything even the snacks were very special , you are the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My granddaughter Karina 17th birthday you really did a terrific job, she will remember this day for the rest of her life. the memories you created are so unique , your special gift , she is showing to all her friends, thank you Sara you are a asset to this company we love you. Sara special attention to every detail , she made every one feel we were the most important person every day in all occasions."

Donald

Telford, PA

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think every day was a "Wow"."

Angelina

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great introduction to Italy.We discovered the diversity in geography and cultural aspects of Italy. The tour gave us the opportunity to see the "highlights" of art, architecture, history and the ways Italians relax and play!appreciated the blend of urban and rural! We felt comfortable after our first day in a location to explore on our own. Our guide was "the best" in helping us with this....tell you later. Our couch was full size which surprised us but was nice for extra seating space.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"several...wow moments..- Staying right on Lake Como in Verenna. Enjoying the views and meadows of the Dolomites. Accommodation was fabulous! The basin/lagoon in Venice and all the water traffic..no cruise ships in! Uffizi Museum in Florence..excellent and passionate local guide. Staying on the ocean at Cinque Terre The Duomo in Siena. Staying at the Altarocca Wine Resort.. the setting, rest and the peacefulness."

Marilyn

Durango, CO

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An absolutely action-packed tour. Each detail was evident, from planning the start at a beautiful Lake Como, and ending in Rome. Our guide, Sarah, was always calm, and poised, and oh so very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the smaller towns and villages, The surprise stops (at the World War II Memorial)every American should see this, and diversion in Varona from dismantling the bomb"

Tom

Pleasant Hill, CA

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This evaluation is being done jointly with Frances Marcus. We were very happy with every aspect of the tour. Sarah the tour guide was terrific. Hotels were all good and in fact better than we anticipated. We loved all the locations we went to and some unexpected side trips like to the World War II cemetery for US troop deaths was really memorable. We encourage you to keep that in your routine tours. We thought the balance of organized versus "free" time was good. Group dinners were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We couldn't agree on one moment so will list several. The extremely convenient hotels in Venice and Florence led to lots of fun exploration. Seeing the exterior of the Florence Cathedral in the late afternoon light. Everything about Varenna and Lake Como; hiking between villages in Cinque Terra; and the two nights at the wine resort to rest up before Rome. THe dinner (and video) at the Selva clubhouse in Siena was just terrific. We have such great memories from it!"

Davis

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Varenna has to be the ideal place to start as comprehensive tour of Italy as is possible in the time provided. I was continually amazed by the knowledge of Sarah (our tour guide) and the specialized guides with respect to church and political history. The tour absolutely needed all of the features and places that were included. That being said, the rest of my comments may seem negative, but they are not intended to be. I seem to run out of space; let me know how I can respond in detail.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many...., but: From a fun point of view it was the dusk gondola cruise in Venice. From a historic point of view it was the church and outstanding frescos at Orvieto. It was especially great because Orvieto was not shoulder to shoulder with people with the rush of other places. The quality of the frescos was absolutely over the top."

Adrian

Halifax, NS

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was great, very helpful and had a great level of passion and enthusiasm for his work. Everyone on the tour was fun loving and great to travel with. This was our 3rd Rick Steves tour and we are talking about the next one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many."

Nancy

Halifax, NS

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was highly enjoyable. We made some great new friends and enjoyed Italian art, history, culture and FOOD!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love art history and touring historic cites. Quite frankly however, I was getting a little tired of yet another Duomo. The greatest break, which we all needed, was the Umbrian Wine Resort and Spa. After traipsing through all of those hot cites, we had the greatest time just playing in/by the pool. It was so much fun! I know that you can find a pool anywhere, but not with that scenery and food. It was the perfect break before Rome. Thank you!"

Karianna

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was literally nothing about the tour I didn't like. We had an EXCELLENT guide, and an excellent group. There was just enough group time to get you oriented to the city, and just enough free time for you to explore on your own based on the information you got from the guide. It was absolutely the best experience of my life and I can't wait to go on another Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I pick just one? Venice was definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life - I will never forget riding the gondola through the canals. I loved going to the Alps - a group of us summited a mountain! I fell in love with the family feel of Siena and the history of the Palio. I was awestruck by the history of the Coliseum and the ancient Roman Forum. And of course, the food. I would have to say the whole tour was a "WOW" moment!"

Karen

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine having a better time than we did! The R.S. tour guide was awesome as well as our bus driver and all the local guides, and we totally bonded with our "tour family." Love, love, LOVE Italy and its people!! We got great advice prior to the trip from the website so arrived well prepared and ready to go. The locations were fantastic, and the combo of tour time and free time were terrific. I am totally sold on Rick Steves tours, and am dreaming of the next one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to isolate one moment! First "wow" was daily waking up to the serenity and beauty of Varenna upon pre-tour arrival; it was almost too much to take in. I wandered around in a smiling daze, hardly believing such a place was real. LOVED the alps, and the free time strenuous hike with challenging weather made the mountain summit hiking experience an incredibly satisfying big WOW! Loved it all; each place was so amazingly unique that comparing them & selecting one "wow" is too hard."

Jennifer

Beaver Dam, WI

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot say enough good things about the group I was with! As the only "single" in the group I was at first worried that I might be a "third wheel" but that was far from the case! We had so much fun together and did so many great activities! I loved how there were city orientations, no lines for major events (because you bought the tickets ahead for us) opportunities to save money by doing impromptu group events (such as splitting the cost of a gondola between all of us) Awesome tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list but LOVED the concept of a few "vacation from a vacation" days in the middle in Monterosso - loved hiking the alps, loved the FOOD. Really though I found myself saying "wow" at how knowledgable our guide was - Donald knew EVERYTHING down to the most minute details. I always felt well equipped to be able to do whatever I needed to do when I was out on my own!"

David

Akron, OH

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the variety of experiences presented in the Best of Italy tour. Lakes, mountains, canals, hills, rocky seacoast, medieval towns, Roman ruins, and Renaissance churches - every day was a revelation. What impressed me the most may be the precision of the scheduling of so many events and sites; we moved from place to place in a very efficient way and gained access to the places very smoothly and easily. I loved the itinerary and schedule. Very well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour was full of wow moments (the view from the window of our room at Hotel Pasquale in Monterossa, the gondola ride in Venice with a singer and accordion player, the city and garden walks in Bellagio, the visit to and dinner at the Forest Contrata (parish) in Siena, the breathtaking views from the wine resort at Altarocca, Art!Art!Art!) but I really was awed by the Sistine Chapel ceiling and the inside-the-dome, outside-the-dome experience at St. Peter's Basilica. Truly an inspiring tour!"

Monika

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour, and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We LOVED the size of the group: 19.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was one "wow" moment after another!"

Antoinette

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour, and it exceeded my expectations. I appreciate every logistical detail and the way the tour was structured to take advantage of travel time and cities large and small. The hotels were all wonderful, and the service there was great. The bus was perfect and the driver was wonderful. In addition to the beautiful sights, the highlight of the trip was our guide Donald. His knowledge of ALL things large and small[INVALID]made the trip unforgettable and a true education.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The final group dinner in Rome. Beautiful setting, great food and service--and the Italian man singing and playing traditional Italian music on the acoustic guitar--It was an A+++ experience that we never could have created for ourselves."

Patrick

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pastoral and rural was excellent. The mix of guided and free time was excellent. Donald was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was great but there was no single wow moment. The wow was the entire experience."

Robert

Louisville, KY

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great mix of people. Great weather. Great country! Great time!

Laura

Epping, NH

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Initially skeptical of joining a tour, I was very impressed with the organization/efficiency of the itinerary, the amount of time saved by skipping ticket sales lines, and the overall "flow" of the trip. I was pleased to forge new relationships with a fantastic group of like-minded traveling companions. Best of all, I had memorable experiences that would otherwise have been missed - such as dining in the personal home of a highly decorated Italian chef. The Best of Italy truly was just that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful moments that are now etched into my memory: the amazing sights and sounds of Venice with its beautiful canals and numerous store windows adorned with decorative masks and Murano glass balloons; the private stained glass-making demonstration by Gianni in Sienna; and most breathtaking of all, Michelangelo's stunningly gorgeous Sistine Chapel ceiling, which can only be truly appreciated in person!"

Ronald

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. Expertly organized; very efficient way to travel[INVALID]with planning, travel, accommodations all planned perfectly[INVALID]really maximized the experience. Our guide, Rainer, was the best we ever had. And, our bus driver, Adrian, made getting everywhere so easy. Great travel companions. Great diversity of experiences from intense urban to bucolic rural and antiquity and medieval to contemporary. Every day was unique.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day, each city created a new "wow" moment. All different--a bustling metropolis, then a sleepy village, then an elegant town, then a working town, sea-level settlements, then a mountainous resort."

Russ

Alameda, CA

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fantasitic and every city was so different that the 17 days simply flew by. Our guide, Rainer was excellent. He had grat knowledge of the different areas and keep to the schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments. The two that stand out in my mind were the beauty of the Dolimites and the incredible ruins and sculpures in Rome."

Kelly

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the trip very much. Tour guide Rainer and bus driver Adrian were both excellent. It was a great group of 19 travelers, very fun to be with everyone. All the cities and towns were great, so many things to do and see. Great food, wine, hotels, arranged tours. Everything was made very convenient and easy for us so we could get the most out of the trip. My only wish was that we had added on extra days in Rome at the end of the trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved all the hiking in Cadenabbia, in the Dolomites, and the Cinque Terre. Also loved seeing all the great churches and all the art, especially Michelangelos work--just amazing. All the cities, towns, and short journeys in between offered so many beautiful sights and great things to do. Perfect mix of planned activities and free time."

Genevieve

Louisville, KY

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was absolutely incredible. When I first found out we were going to Italy through a tour, I was a little skeptical. Generally when I travel I seek the non-touristy, truly authentic flavor of the place I'm in, and I wasn't sure a tour would allow for that. However, the RS tour experience epitomizes this style of travel, and both our tour guide and the many resources and experiences we had made the trip truly memorable and filled with hidden gems and local flavor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are SO many, but I probably have a two-way tie between (1) reaching the top of the Schlern peak in the Dolomites and taking in the breathtaking view and (2) sitting on some steps listening to music from the various bands in Piazza San Marco in Venice as the square came to life at night, lit up by the twinkling lights and the sounds of clinking glasses and happy voices. Both times a phrase came to mind that our guide Rainer taught us: "Che suggestivo...""

Jolene

Louisville, KY

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour, by far, exceeded my best expectations!! The combination of cities visitied (both large and small), the scheduled activities, the expertise, professionalism, and helpfulness of our tour guide (Rainer), the pace at which we moved from place to place, our fellow tour members, etc. all worked together to create an incredibly fun and memborable experience for our family. We could not have asked for a more amazing tour of Italy!! THANK YOU!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have thought about this question numerous times since our return home. The bottom line is that there were too many "WOW" moments to single out any particular one as a favorite. Truly, from the views of Lake Como out of our hotel window in Varenna to our first sights of Venice as we made our way to our hotel via the waterways to a scenic bike ride around the perimeter wall of Lucca to a glorious day spent in the Michelangelo Piazza in Florence, these were all WOW moments of many WOW moments."

Shirley

Pascagoula, MS

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

IT WAS WONDERFUL FROM START TO FINISH. KAREN WAS SO HELPFUL IN SO MANY WAYS, SHE IS VERY INFORMATIVE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE. SHE WAS VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND, AND HAD CONTROL OF HER CREW AT ALL TIMES. SHE GAVE US MANY CHOICES, AND ALLOWED US THE FREE TIME THAT WE ALL NEEDED AT TIMES. THE PLACES WE VISITED WERE GREAT AND ALL DIFFERENT IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE AND ONE THAT I WOULDN'T TAKE ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR..THANKS FOR MAKING THIS TOUR POSSIBLE....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"SEEING THE SISTINE CHAPEL AND MICHELANGELO AND RAPHAEL'S WORK, WAS TRULY MORE THAN I EVER IMAGINED."

Janie

Port St Lucie, FL

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Our guide Karen was outstanding. The thought that was put into the scheduling, hotels, tours, etc. was evident. There was a great mix of group and private time, city and county, museums and nature. The hotel [INVALID]ions were right on. Being centrally located meant immersing ourselves in whatever location we were at and having more time to see the sights and experience the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all a wow but I will give special mention to the beauty of Varenna, Michaelangelo's David and the fresh, delicious Italian food."

Elizabeth

Westlake, OH

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an incredible amount of information to take in....visually and mentally. Our guide put everything into perspective. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute. Every two days we experienced an entirely different adventure, I am very glad that this was how we experienced Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking back to our hotel from the Parthenon we easily found our way down narrow streets and friendly people. Then.....when we least expected anything so magnificant, the street opened to a plaza filled with a symphony orchestra and a wonderful lady singing from Carmen. The sound echoed from the building walls. Incredible!"

Daniel

Westlake, OH

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was great. Tour guide Karin was simply fabulous. Her insight and knowledge was tremendous. They manner in which she handled normal and abnormal situations was truly remarkable. The small group - 16 people - all got along very well. The handling of group dynamics a) time with the group, and b) time alone, was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard question to answer. Every two days, we were at a new location, seemingly better than the day before. I f I had to choose one special moment, I guess it was the evening (3) gondolas ride, with music and singing. Second place maybe would be dinner at "Bobo's". Everything else tied for a close third. This is just not a fair question. The churches were beautiful, the museums were unbelievable, the history that was imparted was mind boggling, the landscapes were beyond description."

John

Pascagoula, MS

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed with Italy; food,people scenery,art, history, etc. Karen was a great guide. Her knowledge of all the areas visited and Italy in general was amazing. She also has a great delivery and personality. The local guides were extremely knowledgeable and they were all personable and informative. Our driver, Guido, was very professional and a safe and talented driver. He was also very accommodating and helpful for us personally when difficulties arose.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "Tres Tenors" opera performance in the Episcopal church in Rome."

Kathleen

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful balance of rural, small town, and city experiences. The Venice vaporetto boat ride into the city gave a beautiful overview of the city. Rick, you've opened Europe, particularly Cinque to USA residents. . Uunfortunately, it is now overrun to the point it's actual work to get around there. Actually detracted from the rest of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Varenna was beautful, Dolomites were once-in-a-lifetime experience, Iceman museum was informative without being too technical. Siena was a wonderful surprise. Art and museums, well-preserved town, stained glass artist studio. To have access to such a skilled artist is wonderful. Uffizi! Thanks for usggestions for pre-and-post sightseeing. Milan Last Supper tour was enjoyable and the orghese Gallery was stupendous!!!"

Johnnie

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was great! Both our tour guide Sarah and our bus driver Dario were fantastic. They made us all feel like we were part of a family. Every part of the tour was thoughtfully prepared and flawlessly executed. Even though we were prepared for things to potentially go awry, everything ran wonderfully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each of the local tour guides brought with them the personality, flair, and customs of the local area. Each one was better than the last. It was evident that there are high standard and expectations from Rick Steves tour guides and they never failed to deliver on those expectations."

Susan

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! The tour itself was so well organized and gave us a great variety of small villages , beautiful countrysides and cities packed with history and art.. Our guide,Sarah, was an effective leader ...Always on schedule and preparing us well on the bus for what we would be seeing on our next stop. Our group members soon became good friends. There was the right amount of togetherness and freedom of being on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Dolemites, Lake Como and the peaceful countryside around the agriturismo."

Carole

Kailua-kona, HI

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was beyond my expectations. There are rare moments in life when everything comes together in beautiful harmony to create a song of memories that will last a lifetime. This trip was such an experience for me -- truly magical! Sarah, our guide, Dario, our bus driver, and my fellow travelers truly became close companions on this journey of discovery, not only throughout bella Italy, but within the topography of our hearts and souls.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was overflowing with "Wow" moments, but if I had to choose one, it would be seeing the Dolomites for the first time. Leaving Verona, we followed the Adige River towards the Alps. As our bus neared the Seel Aus Hotel, pristine alpine forest surrendered to alpine meadows. Then I saw them -- jagged, upthrusting monolithic sentinels standing guard over their meadow. You feel them at a visceral level, and you are arrested in pure wonder and awe. My soul expanded in that moment."

Nancy

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

AMAZING MEMORIES!!!! My trip to Italy was my first trip abroad, and it was even much more than I dreamed it would be. My husband planned the entire trip, and we are both so delighted that he chose a Rick Steves tour. We saw so much more than we ever could have on our own. It seems totally unexpected surprises were in store every place we went! Thanks Sarah and super local guides:)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is difficult to chose only one. Perhaps it was arriving at the Agriturismo Poggio della Volara or being able to attend the Memorial Day service at the American Cemetery south of Florence."

Ralph

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WONDERFUL in every way! Lucca was too brief to be meaningful (unnecessary stop?) Sistine Chapel a cattle drive; glad to see it but not fun. Generally a well planned itinerary with no rest for the wicked: ANDIAMO! The visits to the "Forcole Shop" and "Stained Glass Shop" were very nice. The banquet in Siena with the costumes from the horseraces was a real treat and Poggio Della Volara was a dream. The best part of the whole trip was to see how much my wife enjoyed it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole Poggio Della Volara experience! The banquet in Siena was a very special evening, the setting, the ambiance, the food, the ladies, and the history all together. I very much enjoyed the carpenter shop in Venice where the oars and forcole were made. A little more time to to browse and buy there would have been nice. Prior to the trip stepping out of the metro station in Milan to face the Duomo and watching the setting sun from its roof were spectacular."

Elizabeth

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized from start to finish. I appreciated the attitude of getting involved in the culture and exploring. There was a sufficient variety of sites/places given the time frame. I reflect back on the trip as being very positive - it was a fine time. Perhaps liked minded people tend to do these trips? Our group was comprised of friendly, well behaved, helpful and very nice people - a big element in the trip's success. - thank you for your efforts; no major suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a relevant question for me - I like the variety and the whole package. Even rainy days were fine and we experienced the country to the city and back..... Special little side trips or lectures (e.g. window glass makers, etc.) enriched the experience."

Matthew

Los Alamos, NM

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding bikes on the walls of Lucca... Absolutely life changing."

Carl

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were exceeded in every aspect of this tour. The only regret is that it came to an end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falling snow while enjoying an indoor pool in the Dolomites."

Margaret

Decatur, GA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first time abroad. It was all a "wow". I appreciated the balance of fast pace, then rest, "must see" tourist places and out of the way places with personal encounters. Italy itself is breath-taking. You showed it off beautifully. In the bigger places things began to blur and I felt rushed and not quite able to get my feet on the ground. Maybe it was because it was my first time. Maybe it is the nature of that kind of trip.. I wouldn't have traded one minute for anything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" was at Poggio della Valara the Agritorismo. we were warmly welcomed. The group had solidified. The food was fabulous. The peace sublime. The view over the mountains and valleys like it came from an award winning photo. The moon came up the sun went down. A singer accompanying himself on keyboard sang the songs from the 50's though the 70's. We ALL danced, the neighbor who came for dinner, his grand-daughter, our host and hostess. For just awhile we were children."

Tony

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great itinerary (selection of cities) Good to great waling tours/museum tours *FANTASTIC* guide (Sarah) so-so hotels (beds are too hard, poor showers) fairly "quiet" group (other tour members) factors beyond anyone's control: I started the trip with a cold, so the first week or so I wasn't enjoying it as much as I would have otherwise. The weather in the Dolomites and Venice was terrible: clouds, rain, hail, even snow, so these two locations were disappointing to me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Uffizi museum. The guide, Cindy Nesti, really made it come alive. I've never really enjoyed art that much and I was not really looking forward to this event, but from the start of the tour Cindy really made the subject come alive, and made me want to learn more. she started by taking us into a room and showing us three Madonna and child paintings, which looked similar to me, and then explained how the three show the progression of art through the renaissance."

Yolanda

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We very much enjoyed the trip. The pace was quick. (This is the shortest trip for us, we usually do the 21-day tours.) But I can't think of anything that felt missing. The pair of guides worked well together. Always looking out to herd all of us so we could see - do - experience everything. I am so glad and marvel at the driving skills of the bus driver Roberto. He could move that huge bus around like it was just another small car in traffic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the art and architecture was a great experience. The Galileo museum was a wonderful surprise. My husband and I spent the full afternoon viewing all the instrumentation. The demonstrations of the gondola oar forcola making and the stained glass construction were wonderful and ed The sculpture that is the piece I loved at first sight was the Pieta in Orvieto. For me, it correctly captured a moment in time. With the people who were present and the emotions you see on their faces."

Barbara

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just as you would expect for a Rick Steves experience - Wonderful!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of amazing moments, but we have seen most of Italy before so - the day in the Dolomites was unexpectedly good for us."

Yi Jeng

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour makes me believe in traveling with a tour group.We had amazing meals together(have to mention about the generous salad bar we got before the 1st course for dinner,authentic pesto making lesson by an Italian mom at hotel Pasquale,music and feasta(yummy crispy roasted pork) at farm Poggio della Volara,and the farewell dinner in ancient Roman theater), comfortable bus-rides,many of good lodgings,knowledgeable tour guides,free time to get lost,and wonderful traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments during the entire tour.Watching Michere drove through each narrow street smoothly,staying at least 400 years old part of the hotel Cipressi,amazing waitress at Pension Seelaus,attending to the workshop to know the craftsmanship of gondolas and the beautiful stain glass in Italian style.The most of all is staying at the very sophisticated farm run by a very sweet couple and their dogs in Umbria.I was pleased to stay there,enjoyed home-cook meals and shared their happiness."

Robyn

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic but I would have liked it to be a few days longer so we could have had a couple more vacation from our vacation days.It was pretty non stop and it would have been nice just to relax a bit more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre!!!!"

Joseph

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a trip of a lifetime [INVALID] one I hope to repeat many times over. The overall tour is well balanced moving between gorgeous natural beauty of Lake Como and the Dolomites to the frenetic congestion of Venice and Florence. The group meshed well and Donald's talks were always educational and informative [INVALID] particularly for those interested in soaking up the material. I thought the food overall was superb but perhaps too many traditional meals and not enough healthy fare [INVALID] not enough gree

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the statute of David by Michaelanglo in the Academia in Florence was a revelation. Seeing the towns of the Cinque terra cascade down to the sea -- all different but each more beautiful than the next reminded me that when God and man work in harmony good things do happen."

Jeanne

Spring Lake, MI

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A trip of a life time. Outside of the sequence of destinations, it was beyond expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one. Dolomites, Cinque Terre, Baptista echoing in Pisa"

Tammy

Hoffman Estates, IL

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We would have never seen or done as much as we did without the Rick Steves' tour.

Ginger

Chambersburg, PA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought everything from the itinerary to our tour guide was well organized. I loved my first Rick Steves tour (and first time in Europe).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our time at the agriturismo. Even though the weather wasn't great with the rain, our host still made our time there special, providing music and dance with dinner and a special tour of the local olive oil producer. They are very special people and I'm looking forward to going back someday."

Dickson

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was exceptionally well planned. The logistics would have been difficult for individual travelers but even more for a large group. The unfortunate part of this trip were other tourists especially in Rome, making it hard to enjoy places like the Coliseum or the Vatican. No much alternatives to that problem-more likely an Italian kind of issue-not a very organized or efficient country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine country (Agritourismo). Not expecting such a well kept/equipped inn with exceptional food and music/dancing at dinner in such a remote place."

Mary

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour in every aspect. Definitely very busy but that was great since we got to see so much. I appreciated,the smaller stops in between the major destinations. The local and cultural visits were some of my favorites. I really enjoyed the gondola, stain glass and pesto demonstrations. These are things I' m sure would be difficult to arrange on your own. The local hotels were a fun part of the experience., I left feeling Italy is a beautiful country .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Each location was so different from each other. Venice was one of my favorites with its great beauty and not to forget the gondola ride. My biggest surprise was probably Siena with our visit to the contrada or local neighborhood for dinner. I was amazed that they remained so close knit and continued the same traditions that have been done since the Middle Ages. Rome was also awe inspiring with its ancient ruins."

Marijane

South Salem, NY

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a perfect mix of history, art, scenery, and activity. I came away with a love of the Italian culture and a better appreciation of what they contributed to civilization, both ancient and during the Renaissance. I ate well and walked it all off!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at eye level with the top of the columns of the Roman Forum by looking out the windows of the underground walkway connecting the Capitoline Museum buildings. We had walked through the Forum, looked down on it from the Palantine Hill, but I felt I was part of it from this vantage point. We would have missed it if the local guide hadn't pointed it out."

James

South Salem, NY

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves' tour and lived up to the promise of the 1st two in all regards. Our guide, Reiner, and our bus driver, Adrian, were both terrific. Hotels were very good to excellent, always in great locations. The only thing I can think of to make the tour better would be to spend longer in Venice and Rome, and to officially include Milan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, many, "wow moments" for me. Two that have particularly stuck with me were the view of Venice from the Accademia Bridge, and the view of the first room (beyond the ticketing area) of the Borghese Gallery in Rome."

Skip

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour delivered what it said. Some of the most iconic sites and cities of Italy in a whirlwind 17 days. Venice, the Statue of David and the Uffizi museum, Hill cities, Tuscany and Rome. We saw a LOT of sites. The pace was rapid. In hindsight a city every 2 nights is a fast pace for trying to do any excursions on your own. The organized tours in cities and museums did offer insight I wouldn't have seen on my own. Just be prepared to have a couple of days to rest after the tour is over!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss up between the city of Venice and climbing the Duomo in Florence. Venice is an unreal experience. Hard to believe that whole city was a thriving center of the civilized world in the Mediterranean long ago. But the buildings are there to show that history. But trying to get to the top of the Duomo with only 90 minutes before meeting for dinner was a fun evening and one I'll remember for a long time! Coming out on top near sunset was rather amazing. And we made it to dinner!"

Carol

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rainer, was a fabulous guide. The sites we saw were outstanding and unforgettable. It was wonderful to have tickets purchased and reservations made. We waited little to get into museums etc. I loved the quaint things we did. Stain glass maker, wood craftsman, community dinner in Siena. HOWEVER, I was VERY disappointed in the fact we only had a guided tour for about half of the days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome of course and the Vatican was very spectacular, but I enjoyed the smaller towns more overall. The quiet moments with the locals. Siena was my favorite along with Cinque Terra and Lake Como."

Tim

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour!! Great destinations and side trips along the way. I would not change the itinerary at all. Thank you Rick Steves team for providing this wonderful vacation!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved lake Como, dolomite hiking, city walks (esp evenings). So many great memories!"

Carol

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide, Rainer, the absolute best! Eloquent, organized, knowledgeable, respectful. Driver, Adrian, was personable, helpful and professional. Would have liked more personal time for relaxing and laundry. Would have enjoyed more than two nights in any location(s). Loved the unique experiences, ie the stained glass maker, the dinner in Siene, the formula maker in Venice. Recommend RST looking into using Milan Private Tours which we did on our own prior to joining the tour in Varenna.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The neighborhood dinner in Siene and the film on the horse races. Totally unquie and totally fabulous dinner."

Catherine

Verona, PA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience exceeded my expectations. The accommodations, the guided tours/walks, the group meals, the bus and the friendliness of the members of our tour group were all outstanding. Our tour guide was very amiable patient and knowledgeable and the local guides added so much because of the passion and pride they held for their heritage.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments at every stop and it is impossible to select just one. There were "wow" moments for all the senses - sights (art, architecture, landscapes), sounds (orchestras, church bells, la bella lingua), smells (lemon groves, flower gardens, food aromas), and tastes (pasta, gelato, wine). The geniality and engaging nature of the Italian people was also a big "wow.""

Michelle

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. Did not know what to expect but we were sure that we would enjoy touring Italy. This tour proved to be outstanding in every way! If you are rating my experience on the "star" system, 5 being best, I would give this tour a six. Excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a "wow" moment! I last visited Italy in the early 70's. This "best of Italy" tour was everything that I had hoped it would be."

Byron

Worthington, OH

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good, enjoyable tour. Saw an amazing number of Italian attractions. Appreciated the free time but the local guides were special. They added very much to the total experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Pantheon in Rome and the exterior of many of the duomos. The one in Orvieto is a good example."

Judy

Arvada, CO

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved the tour!!! We especially liked the Back Door experiences like the Contrada dinner and immersion experience into the Palio, the stained glass demo, the gondola wood-carver's demo, the wine-tasting farm tour and all the little things our guide, Stephanie, exposed us to, enriching our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "WOW" moment. I was in awe of the beauty, the cathedrals, the art, the food, the climbs to the tops of cathedrals and down into wells, the wine, history and the people. When people ask me which was my favorite place, I can't even answer. I loved everything!"

John Edward

Arvada, CO

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just wonderful. It was everything that I had expected and even more. From the moment that we flew into Milan (we arrived one day early so that we could adjust to Italian time and recover from our flights. We also were fortunate enough to see Leonardo's "Last Supper") until we left Rome to continue on our own for three extra days, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The 17 day itinerary was well thought out and we truly did see the "Best of Italy". All of our stops and hotels were great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "Wow" moments. The beauty of the Lake Como area, the Dolomites, Tuscany, Umbria, Cinque Terre and Rome all took my breath away. The "back door" experiences that we had were the biggest surprise- I don't know whether they were planned by Rick Steves or added on by our guide, Stephanie, but we enjoyed seeing places that I'm sure other tours missed. Monteriggioni; the wine agriturismo and the tour & dinner of the Contrada in Siena were wonderful."

Brian

Gypsum, CO

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! I believe this really is the Best Of Italy. we saw so much and there were so many wow moments. I will admit that you have to push yourself a little to get in all the things the tours has to offer. the small side trips we did were a great addition to the tour, lunch in the Tuscan country side, stained glass shop, and wood shop. The Best Trip I've ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alteroco Wine resort. It was so nice to have small quiet stops along the trip to break up the big cities and crowds. this working winery was a peaceful break before Rome. The owners and employees are so wonderful. We opted out of the tour the full day we had there and we stayed behind to catch up on some R&R."

Pam

Gypsum, CO

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where do I start, "wow" The layout of the agenda was awesome. The time spent in each location was perfect with the exception of a few places. The transportation was awesome the bus was comfortable with an excellent driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were so many, but if I had to pick one I would have to say Altarocca wine resort. the second would be hiking the Cinque Terre Villages."

Beverly

Glenpool, OK

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel that we had a great group. I was surprised at the age of the group (a little older than expected), but at least we did not have all night partiers on the trip. Stephanie was awesome!!! Very attentive, helpful, fun, engaged and willing to be flexible when possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my "Wow" moments was rounding the corner in the Accademia in Florence and seeing David for the first time."

Linda

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time in Italy. I'm so happy that I did the 17 day tour. Each day we saw many incredible sites and beautiful countryside. We had great weather & our fellow travelers were very nice. Everyone was on time for events. I loved all the walking & the packing light. I'm a convert now, I'll never over pack again. Our tour guides and local guides were excellent and made the trip fun and interesting. I'm ready to do another one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View: We stopped at a family run wine winery/olive farm where we were served a delicious organic lunch. The view of the vineyards and the hill town of San Gimignano in the distance was spectacular. It was a beautiful sunny day and the landscape was magical. I wish I could have stayed longer in that region and visited the town. Every day there were special and unforgettable moments!"

Steve

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having reviewed over 2,000 images I captured during our tour, I am able to confirm that we had a wonderful time. We would do it again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing alone at the low colonnade wall of Piazzale Michelangelo at 5:30am on our first morning in Florence. The city lights reflecting on the Arno. The magnificent Duomo a spectacular sight on the skyline. The beautiful low clouds embracing the city. The entire scene bathed in the wonderful emerging light of the coming sunrise. It was definitely a WOW."

Kathryn

Calgary, AB

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Both Stephanie and Yorick were excellent, the itinerary was busy but to our liking, the accommodation was brilliantly located, the "surprise" local highlights gave us insights that independent travel have missed. . Our bus driver Dino was a delight and the bus extremely comfortable to travel in. The local guides were excellent and clearly enjoyed showing us around their cities and towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but if I have to choose it was seeing the inside of the Pantheon for the first time. Hard to believe it is 2000 years old and looking as it did when it was first built!"

Barb

Brush Prairie, WA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience on the 17 day Italy tour was wonderful! I saw and learned so very much and Stephanie, our tour guide was fantastic: so knowledgeable, calm, interesting, organized, and just plain wonderful! She seemed to know the answer to any question that was asked of her and if she didn't, she would find out the answer. Yorick was also on our trip as an apprentice guide and he added so much to our trip also. What a great pair!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost too many to count! Our favorites were the Dolomites, Cinque Terre, Michelangelo's "David" and the wine resort in the hills of Umbria. We loved seeing Venice, Florence, Siena and Rome, but we realized we both prefer the small out of the way places. We are so grateful that we did see so much of Italy. It is such a beautiful, lush country and the people were very nice and friendly."

Michael

Houston, TX

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptionally guided and organized. Our guide Robyn was a wealth of knowledge with incredible history and art presentations during the tour. The local guides were exceptional as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a number of them and primarily focused on the history and unique character of each geopgraphical location"

Daniel

Mcdonough, GA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great time on the tour through Italy. It was a great mixture of popular historic sites, italian quisine, and the opportunity to mingle with the local Itlalian people. Everything was organized very as expected. (This was our 4th Rick Steves tour.) We had the opportunity to get to know our tour mates and had sufficient time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was staying at an Italian farm with wine vineyards and olive groves. The couple who ran the villa was so accomodating and the facilities and food was great."

Georgann

Houston, TX

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful way to get a feel for Italy with a grand sweeping tour! I loved being able to show up and have most everything taken care of but at the same time having opportunities to be immersed in the culture on our own. Cannot say enough about how well done the tours are conducted. Will definitely do another Rick Steve's tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"'That is way too difficult to say. Each place had its own highlights."

Lori

San Bruno, CA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a perfect blend of everything that I wanted to experience: history, art, architecture, food, culture, busy cities, and quaint towns. I was not disappointed! The itinerary was a perfect mix of organized time for all of the sites and locations that I wanted to experience while still giving us enough personal time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick one favorite-they are all so different: Strolling through the ruins of Ancient Rome; the majesty of Michelangelo's David; the beauty of Venice at night; the gardens and lake views in Varenna/Lake Como; the quaint stairs that always lead you to something beautiful; the views of the villages in the Cinque Terre; the awe inspiring churches; and the food!"

Judey K

Albany, CA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip exceeded our expecations in every way! The sites were awesome, the people amazing, the accommodations clean & comfortable, the transportation easy & comfy, the food delectable, and the other tour members fun. For first-time RS travelers, we really appreciated being able to concentrate on soaking up the atmosphere and experiencing the culture as much as possible rather than dealing with the logistics of travel. I tried speaking Italian & got a warm response for the effort. Amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 wow moments The 1st was in Siena when we were able to visit the Selva contrada. We learned about the importance & role of the contradas in the past. I heard how the contradas nurture each generation & provide a deep sense of belonging & community. It was humbling. The 2nd was staying at the Agriturismo with Marco & Gaiva. They worked hard to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves. The setting was idyllic, beautiful & I even danced. My hubby now wants to take ballroom dance lessons!"

Simone

Mcdonough, GA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour and yet again, the experience was outstanding. Our guide, Robin, was great. She really kept us organized and on-time. Her on-board history overviews were appropriate so that our next stop became more meaningful. Our fellow travelers were great - no grumps at all - a lot of fun to be around! There's no way we could have seen or done what we did on our own. Having the logistics handled alone was priceless. Bypassing long ticket lines iced the cake. Two thumbs up!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"With a 17 day tour of Italy, it's hard to pin down one. I glad we were able to see the Iceman in Bolzano, ride on a gondola in Venice, climb the Duomo in Florence, ride bikes in Lucca, a short stay at an agriturismo.... the list can go on. It was an overall "wow" trip."

Terry

Lake Tapps, WA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations. Loved Italy and our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Terry: Hiking the Cinque Terre and getting the first glimpse of the next town. Mary: The appetizers served in the olive grove at the agrotourismo. Amazing views and food."

Alan

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! My wife and I have gone to Europe eight other times on our own using the Rick Steves' guide books and this year decided to go on a tour and we are so happy we went on the 17 Day Italy tour. Saw so many great places with our guide and the local guides. The Bed and Breakfast's, Hotels and the Agriturismo we stayed at were super. Just can't say enough about the tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to chose from it is hard to pick a favorite. Marco and his wife at The Agriturismo Poggio della Volara in the Orvieto area were fantastic hosts and the area was beautiful. The Lake Como area was great as you could take a boat ride to many towns."

Greg

Springfield, VA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Super! Looked forward to this Rick Steves tour for a long time and it delivered! We're looking forward to the next one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many, but two stand out. The first was the Cinque Terre. Even with less than idyllic weather, these pearls nestled along the coast were beautiful and inviting. The second was experiencing local wines and delicious antipasta at our agriturismo in Umbria in an olive grove high up on a hillside looking down on vineyards and green hillsides as far as the eye could see. Now, THAT'S the Italian experience!"

Glenn

Los Gatos, CA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour experience, very well run and organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice and Robins thorough knowledge of each area. I loved her stories of each area."

Nancy

Los Gatos, CA

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itinerary was perfect, with busy days usually tempered with a slower second day. We loved all the stops, interesting and sometimes unexpected historical/architectural sites everywhere we went. This was our first tour of any kind, so we weren't sure we would like it. We Loved it! Wore us out, but we really gained an appreciation of the art and culture of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Venice - I was truly overwhelmed by the history, food, setting, art/architecture - everything. The wonderfully romantic gondola ride with the music was the "cherry on the cake" - until my husband brought us down to earth with, "hey- this is just like Las Vegas"! Could have stayed a week just in Venice."

James

Rockford, MI

Tour: 04/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much more fun, interesting and educational than I was even expecting and I was expecting it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many....hard to pick just one. Venice was so interesting. The hill towns of Cheque Terre....breathtaking."

Jennifer

Westford, MA

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience touring a variety of beautiful spots in northern Italy. Our tour director, Ferdi, was very knowledgeable, pleasant, and helpful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many Wow moments. But we especially loved the hotel and setting in the Dolomites and at the Altarocca Wine Resort in Orvieto"

Colleen

Newcastle, WA

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't have been more pleased with our tour. This was the first time my husband and I have traveled with a tour. When we initially looking at Italian tours I thought it was pricey, after going on the tour I feel it was worth every penny and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a 'wow' for me. But if I have to choose, it would be cappuccino in the mornings or gelato in the afternoons."

Thomas

Newcastle, WA

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were first timers (first time on any type of organized tour) and really enjoyed the experience. Just the reduced stress of getting around between cities/hotels was valuable. We were with a small group (just 14) which may have further enhanced our enjoyment but we really got along with the rest of the group of travelers and our guide, Ferdie. The hotel facilities generally exceeded our expectations with their great locations. Would have liked a little more space in a couple. s

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stay in Dolomites was great. Hotel and the setting. Enjoyed lack of crowds."

Patricia

St Paul, MN

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Donald and Stacy brought so much to the trip. Their knowledge of the history and culture brought so much history to light. They were fun, respectful, and kept things going smoothly. They were both warm, charming, and added so much enjoyment to our trip experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"i have tried to think of a favorite, but I can't. The diversity of this trip is spectacular. The beauty of the Lake Como area, the Dolomites, the hill towns, Florence, Rome, all of it was a wow moment for me. What great memories I have. We haven't been back a week and have already requested spots for the South of Italy tour in the fall."

Sue

Valencia, CA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour! Love the way these tours simplify the planning, maximize the experiences, and allow me to enjoy my vacation. Donald is a master at guiding and Stacy is a pleasure. Even Adrian's skills with the bus made everything go that much smoother. Some of the hotels are showing their age, but are so well located that I just count it as part of the experience. Moving every two nights can be wearing but it does allow for a lot of territory to be covered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single wow moment, just a constant string of great experiences (people, places, food, art, scenery)."

Robert

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was far greater than I could have ever imagined!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como and the Dolimite Mountains were the greatest wow factor for me but as an engineer the way Italyians blast through earthen obstructios rather than just cuttting a huge "V" knotch like we do shows they have a far superior way of blasting through mountains."

Barbara

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. Since I am 1/2 Italian I have always wanted to go to Italy. We decided after years of watching your shows and having all the dvd's that we would take your tour. We could never have done such a complete tour of northern Italy on our own. Our group was a happy, fun mixture of people most of whom had travelled with you before. We all got along so well, no one was late, no one complained, our bus was comfy and Adrian was an excellent driver and lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one...not possible! First sight of Lake Como from our walk thru Varenna so peaceful and beautiful. The Dolomites were incredible...hiking along the trails through the meadow and meeting the group for lunch. It was breathtaking. The hill town of Assisi, the Basilica, the history, the church beneath the church and the lovely town and quiet alleys where we found a wonderful restaurant for lunch."

Mary

St Louis, MO

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we have used Rick Steves books for fifteen years of independent travel, this was the first time we booked a tour. We weren't disappointed. We enjoyed sitting back and letting someone else do the navigating and booking the venues and hotels. Our guide, Donald, was awesome. We learned and experienced so much more than we would have by ourselves. Our tour group was fun and everyone got along and we made many new friends. Great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Lake Como and the beautiful gardens in springtime at the Villa Carlotta. Hiking in the Dolomites and the gorgeous scenery. A gondola ride in Venice. The countryside hill towns of Tuscany and our fabulous wine resort in Umbria with the views of the vineyards and distant hills. Florence and the David and Rome with it's ancient city and the Vatican. So many beautiful art masterpieces and the Italians and their passionate love of life."

Elizabeth

West St Paul, MN

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour turned out to be one of my favorite travel experiences ever. I loved everything about it including all the places we stayed or visited from the first day in the Lake Como region to the last in Rome. I truly believe that I experienced the best Italy has to offer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" this is hard question. For me it was seeing and liking Venice. I did not think that would be a highlight of my trip."

Carol

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a memorable tour that covered an amazing number of important Italian sites. I thought it was a good balance between busy, touristy cities and smaller, walkable towns. When I look back, it is hard to be believe that we experienced so much. I found that it was very strenuous with so many hills and steps, but that is just me. And that is Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There could not be just one, but many. The many churches were so beautiful. The gondola adventure that was arranged for us was lovely as was the meal at Stacy's restaurant. The view of the Umbrian countryside from our private veranda was awesome. We wanted more days there. The visits to the stained glass workshop and the workshop of the oarlock builder were very interesting."

Wesley

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Best of Italy itinerary covers so many places from the north of Italy down to Rome that it provides just a taste of each. For some places (Lake Como, the Dolomites), a taste is sufficient, and for others (Venice, Florence, Rome), we wished for another day, but I guess we just need to go back. Our group got along so well, it contributed a lot to the trip. Our guide Stephanie, driver Dino, walks, hotels, sights, meals, local guides, were all great. Looking forward to our next visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is impossible to pick just one. Four "wows." The first was on our orientation walk in Venice, where we walked along narrow lanes, through an archway, and caught our first glimpse of St. Mark's Square with the Duomo, Campanile, and the surrounding buildings. The second was in Florence, when we stepped into the Medici Chapels. The third was seeing the Sistine Chapel. But there were many others."

Larry

Louisville, KY

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie lead an outstanding tour, bringing new insight to the familiar sights and introducing us to many new things. We enjoyed the group and made many new friends, sharing our tour highlights and comparing free time activities. I ended up enjoying sights I wasn't sure at first that I would, and discovered many new ones. Dino, our driver, was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The contrada visit in Sienna."

Carol

Essex Junction, VT

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did this tour twice--in April 2006 and April 2015. I loved it so much (went with friends, husband had to work in 2006), we decided to take the exact same tour in 2015 (this time with my husband). Seeing the same places again was exciting. Places change enough, the tour itself evolved, our guide was that much better experienced...it was all incredible. Highly recommended!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite home base was Varenna again, as in 2006, with spectacular views from lovely Hotel Villa Cipressi, the hiking options in Menaggio just a short ferry ride away. We loved the hike up to Castello Vezio above Varenna as well. For wow factor, we hiked one of the hills near Compatsch in the Dolomites for stunning views, Kastelruth below looked like a toy village. This is not to discount the exciting stays in the cities. Variety was a highlight."

Jack

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding. Exceeded all expectations. From our arrival in the picturesque and beautiful Varenna to the last day in magnificent Rome, our tour was full of beauty, history, breathtaking art masterpieces, ancient pathways and wonder. Our guide, Stephanie, was outstanding and brought our group together as a congenial family with a spirit of camaraderie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we thought something couldn't get more beautiful, we turned a corner, and there was another "wow". Churches, cathedrals, art masterpieces, ancient cities, ruins, castles, gondolas, towers, the Alps -- how could we pick one?"

Stephen

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had visited Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Venice many years ago. Tour a good balance of new and old sites for me in combo w/ my wife as Italy first-timer. Pace too vigorous/hectic some days @ only 2 nites per hotel. Exhausted after days of hours walking, climbing, stairs, standing around listening to tour guides. Highlights: Lake Como, Dolomites/Italian Alps, Cinque Terre, (and beautiful vineyard near Orvieto @ much needed slower pace.) Camaraderie in the group was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unbelievably fantastic views from our hotel windows at Lake Como and Italian Alps. The hike in the alps/meadows above Compatsch was spectacular. The views of the endlessly rolling meadows dotted with flowers/cattle reaching to the mountain peaks were unforgettable."

Jeff

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was apprehensive about a group tour as my travels previously had been set up by me and travel was with one or two people. A friend had taken several of your tours and was very positive about her experiences. I don't know how you could have made the trip much better. The accommodations, food, food, and more food, our guide Donald, transportation, and the special places that you took us were pretty perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to pick one. The rural country villages, beauty of Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Alps, art masters, history in Venice, Rome, Florence. Getting to eat at the Forrest contrada in Sienna after learning about the Palio from our Seashell guide. Eating at a restaurant in a 2000 year old building in Rome. It was all way above my expectation."

Jeanne

Los Gatos, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy came alive due to this experience! Donald, Brooke and the other guides on the tour enlivened, enriched and educated us making the trip more than about the beauty of the country. We dined, hiked, relaxed, walked a thousand steps, up and down, and saw sights of such beauty both man made and creator made which can only gives us an appreciation for our own environment. The extra educational visits were well chosen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've got to say, it was the Ice Man. Never expected to see this anthropological phenom in my life time. Thanks! And then there were the alps, the wine resort, and all of the cathedrals."

Maria

Katy, TX

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Best of Italy tour was truly fabulous! It was a wonderful mix of big cities' splendour with quiet small town charm. We loved Bellagio, Cinque Terre, all the Tuscan towns and the delightful winery resort outside Orvieto, just to name a few. The entire trip was a delightful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had too many to pick just one, i.e., Siena's amazing cathedral interior, the breathtaking views from our hotel rooms in Monterosso al Mare and Orvieto, the wonderful Vivaldi concert in Venice, to name a few."

Sue

Ladysmith, BC

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the pace, the fact that we only moved every other day,the leadership, knowledge and personality of our guide and his lovely assistant. I believe you hired someone to paint a HUGE canvas and hung one in the Dolomites and another in Umbria. Those landscapes were to beautiful to believe. Waking each morning and walking to breakfast or to hike make you KNOW this is Creation and not just a big bang. You could NOT help being happy and our smiles were from ear to ear.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Witch Mountain. 2. Umbria landscape and resort. 3. Standing at the Forum and getting shown 4 buildings from different CENTURIES!!!!!!"

Wanda

Richmond, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip with Rick Steves, and we are definitely impressed! The tour exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with given the company's reputation. I was drawn initially by the tour's itinerary, a particular combination of places and highlights that I could not find with another company. It proved to be perfect, so well planned and executed. I particularly loved the mix of high art & culture (e.g. Rome, Florence) with gorgeous serene settings (e.g. Lake Como, Dolomites).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to choose a favorite from the many "wow" moments. Certainly, one of the most memorable is watching the sunset during happy hour on the upper terrace at the Villa Steno in Cinque Terre."

Michael

Chagrin Falls, OH

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an incredible trip! Our guide Donald did an amazing job,his knowledge and sense of humor made this a delightful experience. The big 3 ,Venice, Rome And Florence are certainly must see cities but we enjoyed the smaller towns of Lake Como, Cinque Terra, the Dolomites, Assisi and Sienna more.Our group came from all over the States and Canada and were wonderful people!we also met some great folks from Thailand who got engaged on a Gondola in Venice..we will do another Rick Steve's tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Altorroca Wine resort ,with the views of the valley and the town of Orvieto it was amazing. The wine was great and the spa was well received"

Patricia

Angel Fire, NM

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First RS tour and didn't really know what to expect... Turned out to be just what it was... A Taste of Italy... saw so many wonderful sights...flowed well... and was grateful that transportation/museums/the dinners etc. were all taken care of and many less things for us to worry about... really impressed with the organization of the itinerary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The smaller towns...Dolomites/Cinque terra/ Lake Cuomo and Umbria...Altarocco Wine Resort & Spa especially the Spa!!!!"

Michael

Richmond, BC

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Enjoyed the entire experience. First time on any type of tour. Was very impressed with the entire planning, schedule, free time, mix of busy cities and outings in the country, types of hotels. Enjoyed all of my travel companions. Don our guide was excellent. Also very impressed with the access to places and experiences we would not have had if we were not on the tour, Overall very happy I went on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Party on the patio of the hotel in Cinque Terra. 2. Dinner Don organized first night in Florence. 3. Wine Resort in Umbria."

Cynthia

Stony Brook, NY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fabulous experience overall. Schedule was a bit tight and so exhausting I came home with bronchitis. Especially loved the many surprises--contrada dinner in Siena, stay at Umbrian winery, gondola ride in Venice, fun Autogrill. Tour guide Virginia was a gem. But frustrated that few allowances are made for aging travelers(I'm 61, one of the younger people on our tour). Walking tours too long. Stays in Orvieto, Verona, Pisa too short. Felt rushed a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice, set up by our tour guide. Was never even interested but once it was available and I did it I was overwhelmed. (Other "wows:" Siena, views of Umbrian countryside, Cinque Terre towns seen by boat.)"

Renee

Wycombe, PA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well run. Great tour guide and bus driver. Very well organized and great pre tour info on how to get to the tour. Very good itinerary too. I was referred by a friend snd would do again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Cuomo. But all of the locations were fabulous."

Anthony

Uxbridge, MA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

one of the most organized and enjoyable vacations ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"when Virginia got us a gondola ride on our second anniversary."

Lisa

Greenwood Village, CO

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we were thrilled with the trip and the many friends that we made over our three week adventure. Our tour guide was fabulous! She made us feel special by immersing us in the Italian experience. We learned about Italian history and government through her anecdotal and expressive renderings. She treated us with delightful treats during our bus trips and we felt like kings and queens on the grand canal of Venice as we were serenaded exclusively.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The grand canal gondola ride in the evening. We also enjoyed the wine resort accommodations in Orvieto."

Nancy

Culver City, CA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was wonderful,well-organized, great [INVALID]ion of sites, well-run and led. The bus driver was also an outstanding driver. The group was congenial and looked out for each other. Only two things keep me from marking outstanding: -the pace of the tour seemed a bit overwhelming. After a while, I couldn't distinguish one cathedral or town from another as it was all a blur in my memory. -the hotel in Bolzano (which I realize was a substitute) was not quite up to par.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terra--the breathtaking beauty of the geography and the Ufitzi Gallery. The guide at the gallery was outstanding, passionate and had so much knowledge of the paintings."

Tammy

Uxbridge, MA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and it was fabulous! The itinerary was loaded with a wide variety of sightseeing, touring and free time. Our guide, Virginia, could not have been more helpful, in every way! We loved all the members of our tour group...it was so much fun getting to know so many different people, yet also having our own time to make choices with. We could not have had a better introduction to Italy and can't wait to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, that even after being home for two weeks, I have a hard time landing on ONE! Maybe pulling into Venice in our private "water taxi", or being serenaded on a gondola for my second anniversary, or the colorful beauty of Cinque Terre, or shopping for leather coats and drinking wine with the store owners in Florence. There was also the amazing beauty of the art everywhere....I can't pin down one moment!"

Bonnie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had never taken more than a 10 day vacation in the 30 years we've been married and this was our first Rick Steves' Tour and we LOVED every minute of it. Virginia was a wonderful guide. She is amazingly thoughtful and she treated everyone with wonderful kindness. My husband and I agreed that the best part of the tour was the fantastic people that we traveled with and met along the way. We wouldn't change a thing about the trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day. We literally felt like we needed to pinch ourselves EVERY DAY. We wouldn't change a thing. The itinerary was perfect, the amount of time in each city/location seemed just right. Even though it was pouring rain in Varenna, it didn't matter, every day was a perfect new moment."

Catherine

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed our first "tour" experience. Our guide was phenomenal in bringing the group together, managing the hick-ups that are inevitable, sharing her own love of Italy. Loved the tips on how to be a local and the "little surprises" Virginia shared on the bus to introduce us to local specialties like Pocket Coffee. The tour was a great mix of formal activities and times to do our own thing – especially when the weather was good for hiking and walking on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Relaxing in the Cinque Terre - really gave us the energy to enjoy the entire trip to the fullest. A recharge in a delightful spot."

Marianne

Newport Beach, CA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide, Virginia. Very thoughtful, efficient, and knowledgeable and very personable. Loved the clean bus, the extra seats to spread out and the careful driver, Adriano. Great balance of educational information, interesting stops, and free time. The hotels were all good except for Bolzano and the Aberdeen in Rome. Very small at the former, very noisy at the latter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two: 1) The excitement of seeing the Cinque Terra for the first time and having it look even more beautiful that the pictures. 2. The beauty of Bellagio and its quaint cobblestone streets."

David

Greenwood Village, CO

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy in 17 Days was everything and more! But what made the trip special was all the extra's. Virginia was special and she made the Italian experience. Her surprises, organization, remarkable knowledge and high energy was the real deal for a group. Our dinners together, music, help with getting the most out of our free-time was wonderful. We can not wait until our next Rick Steve's tour! Dave

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW - Varenna on Lake Como is the jewel of Italy. Our lake view room at Villa Cipressi was special. We booked a few days early to rest up for the tour and had extra time to hike the hills, visiting off the book places, an ancient church with a marvelous painting. Dinning at Nilus Bar and Bar il Molo on the lake in the late evening was unbelievable. This was the start of the trip and what a first impression."

Alison

Wycombe, PA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved Virginia our tour guide. We also thought the tour included alot of wonderful destinations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome"

Dan

Holly Springs, NC

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have traveled by ourselves in Europe many times and were initially reluctant to sign up for a tour. From our first meeting in Varenna to our goodbyes in Rome, the entire experience was fantastic. This was not a relaxing vacation in the sense that you are always on the move from city to city, but we definitely felt that we were able to see and experience so much more in the 17 days than we would have on our own. I am ready to go again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. Number one was turning the corner at the Academia in Florence and seeing Michelangelo's David...Just incredible! I could list the other obvious ones and run over my 500 character limit so I will add one more...just sitting at Piazza del Campo in Siena and enjoying a long 2-hour lunch and enjoying the sunshine, the people, and the vibe of the town."

Roger

Knox, PA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip far exceeded my expectations. The guide, Patricia, was outstanding and went out of her way to be of assistance to anyone that wanted or needed something. The design of the tour was very well done and I greatly appreciated the midway stops between the main towns. Verona, San Gimignano, Pisa, Assisi and the Florence American Cemetery were great and the detailed timing was very well done. I am very glad that not every hour of the day was planned. The usual half day to explore was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure there is one. Seeing the Iceman and the Dolomites, exploring Florence, San Gimignano, Assisi and Orvieto as well as climbing around Monterosso and feeling the historic Rome are what I feel best about. However the art, painting, sculpture and architecture, was up there as well."

Virginia

Sonor, CA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed seeing all of Northern Italy. Wish we could have stayed another day in each city. Our guide Patricia was very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the history in Rome especially the Coliseum."

James

Midlothian, VA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful. This was the first tour we have taken. I had some doubts about going on a tour ahead of time but everything was way past my expectations. The choice of towns and cities we stayed in was excellent. Everything was well organized and moved smoothly[INVALID] effectively eliminating almost all the frustrations one experiences in traveling. On top of that we had a great guide, Patricia, assistant guide, Kevin, and group of travelers that really added to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had no idea Italy was so beautiful! I've seen pictures but they don't come close to seeing these areas in person. If I had to choose I would say the areas in the mountains--Lake Como, Castlerotto in the Dolomites, and the Cinque Terre were my favorites. The drive in to these areas were all "Wow--I had no idea!" moments."

Kathleen

Hudson, OH

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've always traveled independently, so I was a little hesitant about taking a tour. I found it to be a terrific experience! I liked the mix of free time and scheduled activities, the local hotels and guides, the unique experiences such as the contrade dinner in Siena and the forcula demonstration in Venice. I enjoyed the other travelers' company, and our tour guides and bus driver made the trip easy, fun, and full of learning! I would definitely recommend this tour to my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I LOVED the Cinque Terre, and I had a true "wow" moment when I entered my room in the Hotel Villa Steno and walked out onto the balcony to see the view of Monterosso - incredible!! And the "wow" moments just kept coming there as my husband and I spent the day exploring those beautiful villages - the seafood, the wine, the colors, the vineyard walk in Manarola, the trip up to the Capuchin church in Monterosso - it doesn't get better than that."

Dwight

Eagan, MN

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought Patricia was an outstanding tour guide. She was very knowledgable and accommodating. The tour gave us a great taste of northern Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments like Lake Como, Dolomities, Cinque Terre, Florence, hill towns, and Rome areas."

Lynn

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I had a wonderful experience and would go on another Rick Steves tour in a heartbeat. It was everything it was purported to be and more! It was so well organized. There were no glitches, except ones we couldn't control, like the weather. The pace was brutal, but anyone who wanted to bow out of an activity had that choice. I liked the things I wouldn't have been able to do had I been by myself, like learning first-hand about Il Palio in Siena, and visiting the forcula shop in Venice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment. I would have to say though that my favorite was touring the Roman ruins. It was simply breath-taking."

Bill

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was hectic. Moving every 2 nights. Eg: The 2nd day's schedule inVenice which lasted 11+ hrs. At the end of that long day I watched with fear as three ashen faced overweight women climbed the steps in front of the Presidential residence. I thought they were at real risk for a coronary. Later one said she did too. I would trade Siena for additional days in Florence & Rome. Sistine Chapel was t crowded-skip. Also skip phony Romeo & Juliet site which is pick pocket heaven

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The spa near Orvieto. Pisa is pleasant surprise."

Patricia

Eagan, MN

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a fantastic trip! Best of Italy tour provided a great overview of Italy and included a good variety of experiences. It was our first visit to Italy and the tour exceeded our expectations. We liked having local guides who provided history and context to our tour experiences, enjoyed the demo learning opportunities (gondola, stained glass, pesto making, wine tasting), the central location of hotels, and there was a good balance between structured and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Overall I have a greater appreciation and knowledge of the beautiful art, architecture, ruins and rich culture and history of Italy."

Edward

Greenville, OH

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour, the other being Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We never thought it could be topped but this one moved to the top of our travel experiences. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. We enjoyed every phase of our tour, the food & our friendly and compatible tour group. There was just the right amount of free time to explore on your own. Our guide and assistant were invaluable to the success of our tour. We are looking forward to our next RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every phase of our tour was unique and a special wow moment. Favorite wow moments would be Varenna and Lake Como, Castelrotto & the Dolomites, hiking the trail between Vernazza and Monterosso in Cinque Terre, Venice and the gondola ride, walking to the top of Pisa's leaning tower, Siena, the wine country, the many neat towns and historical sites and last, but not least, the Eternal City of Rome."

Fred

Stuart, FL

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was great; guide was outstanding and enjoyable. All tour members were very compatible; timely, no major gripes etc. and nice to be around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"our visit to the winery and spa location. Rooms were modern, views were great, food was very good. Great place to take a break and relax just before we arrived in Roam."

Karen

Stuart, FL

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was more that I thought it would be. Loved the "no grumps" letter and better there were "no" grumps [INVALID] just a wonderful group of people that wanted to have a great time and experience. The hotels were great [INVALID] bus was clean [INVALID] tour guides were knowledgeable and made the "history" interesting [INVALID] Patricia was a hoot! Always smiling, helpful, informational and patient!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was the people [INVALID] the group fit in together that we were all old friends [INVALID] Everyone was punctual [INVALID] we never had anyone late [INVALID] never been on a trip when you didn't have at least one that always kept the group waiting."

Beverly

Knox, PA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although I had heard good things about Rick Steves' tours, this was my first and I didn't quite know what to expect. I shouldn't have been concerned because everything was wonderful. The guides, hotels, restaurants, and bus couldn't have been better. All the details were taken care of including back up plans if anything went off schedule. I would definitely recommend Rick Steves to friends who are traveling and, in fact, have already done so.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment wasn't from the group part of the trip but was from somethings our guide had told us about. In Rome, my family and I visited the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla. Unlike the more famous sites in the city, there were very few tourists in these places and the immensity of Roman building was more evident. It was awe inspiring. The "Ice Man" was also fantastic."

Carolyn

Monroe, NC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first tour with Rick Steves tours, the Hotel selections, Food, and Guide were excellent! The Bus was very comfortable, clean and equipped even with internet service. Our Driver was excellent and very courteous. We really like the smaller groups. The places we visited were all very interesting and we were well received. Our experience for the Best of Italy in 17 Days is one of our most memorable trips and we will always cherish our time spent in Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for my husband, Chuck and I was the overview of the city of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo! This was not included in our tour of Florence and we felt it was one that should be included. One for me the Art and Sculpture of David at the Accademia! We could have spent more time at Lake Como, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Poggio Della Volara at Orevito all beautiful places with lots to see and do!"

Geraldine

Lyons, CO

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole experience was great; better than I expected. Our tour family was wonderful; we could not have imagined a better group. Everyone looked out for each other. It was great meeting everyone in our group and sharing our great experience with them. I was happy that I had done my homework, watched your shows, and packed light!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was my first trip to Italy. There was literally a "wow" moment around every corner. I am not sure I could limit it to just one "wow" moment. The country, culture, architecture, art, people, wine, olive oil, gelato, and food was amazing."

Neal

Little Rock, AR

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. Everything was excellent. Our guide was great. I enjoyed our traveling companions. The food, bus, hotels, local guides, destinations were all great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day was a "wow" moment."

Don

Monroe, NC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first tour with Rick Steves tours, the Hotel selections, all included Food, and Guide?Driver Team were excellent! The Bus was very comfortable, clean and equipped even with internet service. Our Driver was excellent and very courteous. We really like the smaller size groups. The places we visited were all very interesting and beautiful. Our experience for the Best of Italy in 17 Days is one of our most memorable trips and we will always cherish our time spent in Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overview of the city of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo! This was not included in our tour of Florence and we felt it was one that should be included. My pictures are at http://picasaweb.google.com/piperedm/"

Mary

Las Cruces, NM

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the second time I am giving my input as the first time I hit the submit later button and when going back to finish the info was gone. Thus I will be much briefer herein. The experience was the most memorable of my life and was my dream trip. It was wonderful in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Agriturismo B & B was fabulous. The couple who hosted were truly delightful and the meals were delectable. Everyone enjoyed the quiet setting amongst the vineyards and olive groves."

Arthur

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I would say that this tour was so full of information, scenery, food and wine that it is still sinking in. The tour far exceeded my expectations which was so wonderful that it is hard to express how much we enjoyed our experiences. Being of Italian descent I was dumbfounded by how much I did not know about my grandfather and grandmothers birthplace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW's each day that I truly can not say one was better than another. I was impressed with Rome and the history of the Coliseum, and where the marble and statues disappeared to. Amassing, the ingenuity of people during that period in history and how much they could accomplish, how they survived and yet retained their history so completely."

Larry

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the short side trips between the cities and towns where we stayed overnight. The individual local guides were excellent and provided information that would have been unavailable without extensive research. I learned a number of new and interesting things. I really liked the mix of cities and small towns. I'm not a big city person, so having the opportunity to take breaks from the cities was wonderful. I also enjoyed being in the city centers where we could walk to our destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike in the Dolomites was my favorite "wow" moment. I live in Colorado and the mountains and valleys are very different than ours. I really liked hiking to a restaurant and having a beer and lunch."

Jill

Lawrenceville, GA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sistine Chapel"

Douglas

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first introduction to Italy was a wonderful and educational experience. The tour was well paced, slower more casual days interspersed between the hectic sightseeing days. While the city visits were crowded and busy, we enjoyed the easygoing days in the countryside and smaller cities. The tour was well organized and our guide, from her vast experience, made everything happen as it should.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Roberto, was the outstanding "wow" moment of the tour."

Ken

Lawrenceville, GA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour introduced me to Italy. The most amazing aspect to me was the beautiful landscapes and they just kept coming. From the peaceful Lake Como to the dynamic Dolomites to the wonderful Cinque Terre to the quilt-like patchwork of Tuscany and Umbria. Next came the churches and the amazing art. Then there was the fresh delicious wine and the great food. I haven't even mentioned the our wonderful guide, Robin, who was able to bring 27 people together as if we were a family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one "wow" moment, but I think I have to say that mine was being able to look out over Lake Como after a long flight and train ride. That peaceful feeling allowed me to exhale and know that we were going to have a wonderful trip."

Sean

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was unbelievably fantastic. More than I or my wife ever could have imagined. The accommodations were better than we ever expected. The dinners were unbelievably spectacular,as were the breakfasts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment for us was when we arrived at our tour start point and Hotel in Varenna and song Lake Como for the first time."

Norman

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the tour except our tour of the Vatican museum and Sistine chapel. We were packed in like sardines. It was hot, stuffy, and noisy, which made it impossible to appreciate what we were seeing. It would have been better if it were half as long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Varenna, the Dolomites, Monterosso, the agriturismo outside of Orvieto were wonderful. The accomodations were great and the scenery was breathtaking. They were wonderful places for hiking. Also the guide at the Uffizi Gallery was fantastic. He made me want to take a class in art history."

Sally

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have wonderful memories of my tour. The guide and driver were excellent. The group was great and enjoyable. Glad we had an opportunity to do laundry since we took all carry on luggage. I was not crazy about hauling my luggage 4 blocks and up 72 stairs. On my Trafalgar trip, they delivered our luggage to our door. But that is not enough to make me not go on another Steves tour. I liked that fact that our bus was only half full and we could spread out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Lake Como"

Geri

Garden City, ID

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wanted to visit Italy again!! None of my friends were willing to make the time and money commitment so I thought I'd just go it alone. Well, after a little research I realized I didn't want to spend 3 weeks in Italy by myself so I looked at Rick Steves tours of Italy. I am SO glad I did. Each day I awoke with the anticipation of a new adventure with a lovely group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's hard to pin down. I think my most wow moment was Assisi. Very interesting tour of the town by a Rick Steves guide. Cinque Terre was a feast for the eyes. Everywhere I looked was like a life-size painting. Varenna and Bellagio were stunning. While on the bus our Tour Guide, Robin, would tell us about the history of the next town, which made it even more exciting to arrive at our next destination."

Kay

East Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first RS's tour, first real group tour, first time to Italy. We covered so much area, a real nice sampling of the northern half of Italy, in a relatively short time period, but never felt pushed or rushed (OK, going to the bustle of Rome from the laid back, quiet atmosphere of Altarocca was a challenge, especially when we were all getting a bit tired, but we survived). Wish I could retain all that I learned!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Pieta in Orvieta, sculpted by an unknown artist---so much more expressive than Michelangelo's in St. Peter's. Brought home to me the depth of devotion to art during this era, the drive to expressing through art the beauty (and pathos) of humanity and the world)."

Gary

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour Guide Mary was superior in her organization, daily planning, communication of days events, providing insightful information on sites to be visited and overall delivered a daily experience for every site we visited. The schedule balanced well, planned events along with free time so we could explore other sites not in the original plan. The professional guides provided in Venice, Florence, Sienna and Rome were exceptional with their historical knowlege of the sites and works viewed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The historical overview provided by our guide during the tour of the Coliseum, Forum and Pantheon in Rome and that provided by our guide when visiting the Vatican Museum and St Peters Basilica in Rome. Made the historical sites we visited come to life. Great presentations and perspectives. Michelangelo's Pieta in St Peters Basilica and David in Acadia in Florence definitely provided the WOW factor for me."

Mindy

Foxfield, CO

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded our expectations. Not only did we see the "Best of Italy" sights and sounds but we saw the people, experienced the culture and became part of the communities (if only for a short time). The local tour guides and small family owned hotels and restaurants allowed us to feel like we could look at life through their eyes during our stay. It really helped to not feel like one of the "tourists"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many memories come flooding back and we have been unable to answer this question when asked by friends. There were way too many moments as each spot we would say "this is the best" and then it would be topped by the next sight. I do think the "extra things" recommended by Mary were wonderful and things we would not have done on our own - such as the gondola ride in Venice, after the tourists had gone home, with the music added to a magical night."

Suzanne

Sonoma, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group was extraordinarily compatible, the accommodations with one minor exception were quite luxurious and the mix of large cities /small gems perfect. Mary, our fearless and unflappable leader, had many surprise treats in store. Her knowledge of the culture and art and her kindness huge. This is is my second RS tour, not my last by any means.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wows. the Dolomites, which I never would have visited by myself, the palpable spirituality of Assisi, and the beauty of our Umbrian agriturismo. And then, there was Sienna."

Evan

Sonoma, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well designed and lead by Mary. I am very pleased.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was particularly interested in the Roman antiquities and was not disappointed in what I saw and experienced."

Brad

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful from start to finish. Even though we were latte because of air line problems, Mary was up waiting for us to arrive and get us settled in. The rest of the tour was fantastic.

Kelley

La Jolla, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw and learned a lot, mostly because of Mary. She was so knowledgeable about everywhere we were. She was amazing!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, cannot limit it to one."

Mark

Foxfield, CO

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was wonderful; Well organized, full of great guides and spectacular sights and best of all some great surprises as far as special tours and dinners. The schedule was aggressive but still allowed for a good amount of personal time to go on our own. Will do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Italian scenery in the selected sights was well beyond my expectations. I thought they started with the highlight when we were in Lake Como but it just got better. The people on the tour were an unexpected delight. The "team" dinner we had in the community center in Sienna with the film of the race was a wonderful surprise."

John

Langley, BC

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group size was just right you are able to stay together with your guide. We saw some that were way larger and I do not know how you could get the experience from your guie that way. Also it would be tough to get to know everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very tough to answer as I thought every where we went was awesome others have asked me the same thing. I had never been to Italy before but the sights just blew me away."

Laverne

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a lovely variety of places....from the country side to the downtown experience of the large cities. Tho, the churches were indeed lovely and interesting, for me the churches became all alike.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment, was a toss up between, Vereena and chique terres."

Wendy

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third and most outstanding Rick Steves Tour. Mary called us "The Enchanted Group" as we had almost perfect weather throughout the tour. I also felt we were enchanted because we ALL seemed to "click". The single tour members blended perfectly with the couples and each member looked out for the other. I have to say that Mary was the perfect guide. She has the unique quality of maintaining crowd control while maintaining a personal relationship with each tour member.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were SO many, but I have to say that the serenaded gondola ride in Venice was, in Mary's words, simply magical and not to be missed. She was so right........it indescribable."

Werner

Hickory Hills, IL

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall a very good tour. Nice way to get a "taste" of Italy. Became a little hectice approaching the end of the tour (The Vatican and Rome). Felt a little rushed....realizing that there is no way to do justice to these two areas in a limited time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Venice....the way the city is designed and how people live and get around. Also enjoyed the smaller towns of northern Italy and thoroughly enjoyed Umbria."

Sandra

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On a scale of 100 I would rate this trip a 100. We arrived home tired but totally pleased with all aspects of our tour. Not many trips could be as comprehensive as this one as we now have a much greater understanding of Italy[INVALID]from its' art to its' issues. And thank goodness we didn't have to do the parking ourselves...we even had a wonderful bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This trip was so much more than I expected because of the variety of experiences we had in 17 days. We saw all the typical sites one thinks of when going to Italy...the Colosseum, the Vatican, Tuscany. What I didn't fully understand was the charm and warmth of the small towns. Lucca, Assisi, and Orvieto were delightful since they were easy to navigate, postcard cute, and friendly. I am so appreciative of the opportunity to visit the "big" and "little" on this tour."

Martha

Grafton, WI

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were so many aspects of the tour that were outstanding. 1. It was the best of Italy, never in my wildest imagination would I have picked such lovely spots. It WAS the best of Italy. 2. Mary, our tour guide. She knew Italy well, giving us information that gave me a good flavor of the communities and people. She just reading things out of her notebook. She had lots of local knowledge. She really knew how to bring a group together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. The best "wow" was the Dolomites. The hike we did (suggested by Mary) was a memory maker!"

Laura

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Mary, was awesome. She brought Italy alive for us. Every city we stopped in was our favorite! The tour was so organized. The Italian guides were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Even though they do this daily we felt they were just there for us. Mary kept checking in with everyone to make sure all of our needs were being met. I'm sure at times she felt she was herding cats. The group was friendly, positive, and so much fun. Thanks for putting this tour together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We are still in awe of the Dolomites. Hiking was inspiring in the alpine meadow. All the views were amazing. The Seelhaus owners and staff were so welcoming and the food beautifully presented and delicious. Actually there were many WOW moments."

Connie

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was our first trip to Italy, every new stop was a WOW factor! Our guide Donald was helpful and knowledgeable and made our trip fun. This trip exceeded my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every new spot had its own WOW factor!!!"

Judy

Eaton Rapids, MI

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all wonderful! The hotels and their locations, the food and the stellar local guides all impressed me. Our guide, Donald, was absolutely wonderful: knowledgeable, funny, informative, wow! We never felt rushed at any given site but we were left wanting to go back to some of the same places on our own so we can experience more of that area. I loved the guided tours! I thought I knew a lot about these areas due to my many history and art classes but I learned so much. Just totally amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the feel and look of Venice early in the morning before the streets were crowded with tourists. It was almost like living there. I had that same feeling in Cinque Terre and Orvieto. Such relaxing times in the midst of busy travel! I also loved seeing wonderful places that I had been in the past with my husband, who had never been to Italy, knowing that the trip was much less stressful because he didn't have to drive. He, too, could enjoy looking out the windows at the beautiful scenery."

Guy

Beverly Hills, MI

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the diversity of the tour locations, from one coast to the other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked being in Rome among the ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Michelangelo's works were awesome."

Mark

Eaton Rapids, MI

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experiences were so rich and varied; everything from the serenity of staying at a vineyard in Umbria to bustling streets of Rome. We could not have asked for more, or for a better guide. Are there places we would have liked to have stayed longer? Of course! And that is part of the traveling experience. We're already deciding what can be done again, on our own. But I would not have traded this tour for a self-tour. Kudos to Rick Steves and our guide, Donald!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picking one "wow" moment is virtually impossible. I have to say the mountain scenery of Tuscany and Umbria were in the Top Five. And so were those impossibly beautiful settings in Cinque Terre. Late in the evening in Monterossa, I listened to the village "sing" itself to sleep. The tourists were gone or had gone to sleep. The town was tucking itself in. A full moon lifted itself over the sea cliffs. Wow."

Kathy

Durham, NC

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The best part of the tour was the information from our tour guide, Donald, and the other local guides. Each was very knowledgeable, helpful and able to communicate effectively and to make the art and historical sites relevant and come alive. I follow a plant-based diet and Donald went out of his way to make sure that food was available for me at the group dinners. This was much appreciated and unexpected!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments - seeing Michaelangelo's David, the Doge's Palace and the clock in Venice, the food served at the group dinners, the Hotel Villa Steno (gardens, view, everything), time spent in the Dolomites (surprising how special it was)."

Carolyn

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was one of the best experiences of my life. My only regret was that my husband was not with me on this trip! It had such a variety of activities, all of which were beautiful, educational, exciting, and delicious! I would not hesitate to recommend Rick Steves tours to others!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! However, probably the favorite "wow" moment was when I arrived in the first hotel in Varenna, not knowing what to expect in a Rick Steves tour, and having spent my first 24 hours by myself in Italy, on airplanes, buses and trains. I lugged my suitcase up the stairs to the hotel, and then up the stairs to my room. And the view from my room of Lake Como was breathtaking! WOW! So THIS is a Rick Steves tour!!!!! It was an incredible feeling of awe! And it continued to be awesome!"

Steve

Candler, NC

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing and made our trip easy and thrilling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dolomites"

David

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Donald White was a knowledgeable guide. We saw lots of things in our 17 days. A little more free time would have been welcome. It would be hard to choose something to leave out. We had good bathroom and lunch stops on bus rides. Our best dinner was at Miky in Cinque Terre, a restaurant recommended by Donald, on our free time. If I had to cut something to have more free time, I would consider reducing Otzi, Verona, San Gimingiano, dinner at Forest Contrade hall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was interesting with canals, boats, gondolas, and busy residents. We stayed near St. Mark's square and near the waterfront. Drinking a Bellini and watching boat traffic at sunset was beautiful. Walking east on the waterfront to Garibaldi Blvd with more local residents was nice."

Elvira

Salt Spring Island, BC

Tour: 09/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was truly outstanding! Our guides were very informative and I always felt safe, confident and at ease, which allowed me to freely connect with the sights, sounds and culture of each place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Dolomites... Also, I loved Cinque Terre and the overall ocean / landscapes..."

Jane

Edina, MN

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time with Sarah, very knowledgeable about everything! Very impressive. Very fun group, everyone got along. We would recommend the tour to our friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think seeing the Pope! and i'm not even catholic! Also, at night listening to music at St Mark's square in Venice! Cinque Terre is great! Lake Como is a fairy land............I quess I like WATER!"

Kathy

Framingham, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Tour was excellent in every we way! We toured beautiful, historic areas, all the while learning about art, history, and culture. Italy came alive as a place of passion, controversy, and spirit. The tour was all that was promised and more. The small intimate nature of the group allowed for friendships to blossom through the shared experiences. The balance of guided activities and free time was perfect, as was the selection of clean, delightful, and centrally located hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several...hiking in the beautiful Dolomites, the breathtakingly large size of the Duomo in Florence, the twinkling lights of the cliff towns of Cinque Terra, the magnificence of our beautiful Villa Cipressi welcoming us to sparkling water of lake Cuomo were all standouts .And of course the gondola ride and scurrying through the tiny alleyways of Venice, delighting in the shops and the small local eateries we discovered."

Joanne

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent range of locations, excellent coordination of getting places, truly overall excellent. Loved getting a countryside respite among the city stops. All very well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. Dolomites peaking out when rounding the corner on the windy road in the bus was first huge WOW. David in Florence. The Duomo in Florence. St. Marks Cathedral, first inside view brought tears. Even the Milan train station was a small wow. The FORUM in Rome."

Sam

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best Vacation ever. Will be taking more trips especially likely if we can hook up with Sarah again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vatican and seeing the Pope"

Michael

Windsor, CO

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An enormous amount of information was given to us by Sarah..she's amazing. The side trip and demonstrations were special. Getting to experience the Popes Blessing was another keeper.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como and the villages around it was mine."

Celine

Santa Ana, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This truly was a trip of a lifetime. Everything worked out great tour director, excellent local guides, fun hotels and truly a remarkable group of people on the tour. Our fellow tour members were intellectually curious, full of fun and always upbeat. With Sarah's leadership, we all got comfortable exploring Italy both with our group and on our own. Our bus driver, Adrian, was quite amazing. He was always in the right place at the right time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was my first view of the Duomo in Florence. My brother spent a year in Florence and had told me how beautiful it is and I had just finished Ross King's book about it but my first view really did take my breath away."

Debbie

Natrona Heights, PA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful from the different cities, the group and expecially Sarah. What a wonderful young lady to guide us. All of the tour guides were informative. Just can't say enough.great time great people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"walking from Montarosse to Veranzza.we did it and wow what a beautiful sight"

Donald

Brookeville, MD

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Like drinking from a cultural fire hose for 17 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment I realized that names like Michelangelo, Botticelli, Rodin, DaVinci, and others of that ilk were part of the everyday vernacular of this place."

Donna

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Was an excellent tour. At times the pace made me want to take a deep breath and take a little longer to savor the sights. Two nights at a stop only allows for one full day. The beginning afternoon and last morning were not wasted however.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick any one."

Linda

Windsor, CO

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour had such variety with historical giants such as Venice & Rome to small towns along the Cinque Terre and all the wonderful scenic landscape in between (including the Dolomites). Great balance of towns, history, art and the fun in just being there. Sarah was "eccellente". With her leadership, knowledge and guidance, I loved all the various experiences this tour offered. Great group of people. I have taken other Rick Steves' tours and each has been both unique and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from...wonderful towns and landscape. Two favorites are Cinque Terre and Varenna. Wonderful people such as Franco in Venice. Also seeing the Pope. Plus, a very special time with Sarah in the San Brizio Chapel at Orvieto, one of my new favorite places."

Dennis

Coldstream, BC

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We took your 17 day tour of Northern Italy, followed immediately by the 13 day tour of Southern Italy so I was a bit "toured out" by the time it was over. However, there was not a day that I didn't thoroughly enjoy myself and if I asked myself what I would have cut out to shorten the combined tours, I couldn't come up with anything. This was my first Rick Steves tour and I really enjoyed it. It was hard travelling but good travelling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Iceman museuem in Bolanzo. A fascinating glimpse into our human past. Another one was the "stairway to heaven" in the church in Pisa. Interesting because there is no access to the stairs unless you are leaving heaven and going down and the stairs don't lead anywhere. I notice weird things sometimes."

Pauline

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itinerary was perfect, do not change a thing! I appreciated optimal use of travel time on the bus (very comfortable). Smart pit stop attractions (Pisa, Verona, San Gimignano) & optimized time & comfort with 2 night stays in clean hotels in great cities. Breakfasts were great & optimized time 4 sightseeing all day, & dinners were fabulous. Planned attractions were optimal use of time. Great guide (& local guides). Absolutely best value & experience for the money. Highly recommended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many beautiful cities, experiences, views, people ... Every day was absolutely stellar, and I was so happy every day:) My 'wow' moment however was Cinque Terra. Sitting with my husband whom I love very much, on our private patio at Hotel Villa Steno (spectacular), overlooking the old town of Monteroso, its beautifully coloured buildings against a beautiful blue sky, fresh sea air, looking at the peaceful Meditteranean Sea .. very 'wow' indeed."

Richard

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Totally outstanding. Wouldn't change a thing !!! Ferdi was the BEST. I very much hope to see him again sometime !!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the paths between the towns in Cinque Terre !!! AND hiking Lake Como and the Dolomites !!!"

Gary

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first day to the last day it was everything I hoped it would be. The itinerary let us experience what every city or town had to offer. All the main attractions, no lines, and enough free time to get lost in the most romantic places on earth. Top that of with the best guide I have ever had the pleasure to tour with and you have a tour that tops any grading system you can come up with. My hats of to the entire Rick Steves "family", this tour should never be changed! Mille grazie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a wow moment everyday on the tour. Each stop there was one wow moment that I am grateful for, but if I was to pick one it would be the stay in the Cinque Terre. Our room was worthy of a 5 star rating just because of the patio and view. Watching the sunrise over the Mediterranean, and a peaceful snack and beverage before going for dinner. I will go back on my own time and spend a vacation in the Cinque Terre."

Lesley

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Tour Guide, Ferdi, has to be one of the best ever! He was so helpful with everything, particularly recommendations of restaurants, places to see, and things to do on our free time. We loved having the free time, and felt it was well spent thanks to Ferdi. We had the additional benefits of a wonderful tour group where everyone got along, excellent local guides to take us through museums and sites, as well as a great bus driver to take us on our tour through Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy has to be one of the most beautiful countries to visit. Every town and every view is a picture. My favorite "wow" moment was seeing the beach towns in Cinque Terre. Another of my favorite "wow" moments was the view from the gondola when we were in the Dolomites. We saw SO many churches throughout Italy, but my favorite was in Siena with the gorgeous marble floors. The small church inside the other church started by St. Francis of Assisi was also something beautiful and unexpected."

Karen

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end everything on the tour went like clockwork. Rainer was a great guide-gave us so much history and travel advice as we approached our next stop. Saaro(?), our bus driver, was cute and very helpful. Even to his dinner toast, "Buon Appetito, tutti!!" I was a little concerned about the number of down days when we could be touring hard to see all the important, well known sights. We appreciated those days and gave us the opportunity to see sights I n wouldn't have picked

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to say. All the sights were so different and had so much to offer. I will group all our local guides together and say they were fantastic. Each had his/her own take on their area of expertise. Could I have learned so much in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel? No. The antiquities of Rome? No. The Uffizi Galleries? No. Venice? No. But, then, maybe it was the waiter in the Dolomites who looked like Hugh Jackman."

Diana

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

many enjoyable surprises. I liked the variety of cities, food and sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Was walking into St Peter's Also liked Cinque Terra, the alps and Florence. The winery at Montarosa was also very nice."

George

Stillwater, OK

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the variety on this trip from hiking in the Dolomites and Cinque Terre to visits to museums and duomos to vineyards and resorts. We had a great group of very compatible people which added to the great experiences throughout our visit. All of our guides were outstanding with special kudos to Rainer. Our bus driver, Sauro, was excellent both as a driver and comrade. By the time we reached Rome we were family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow was the trip as a whole. I wowed at the diversity of our experience. I wasn't really ready to leave any of our visits."

James

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour well planned and the guide beyond expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting tour members for the first time as a group on a terrace over looking lake Como ."

Mariah

Livermore, CA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome, awesome, awesome! The overall tour exceeded our expectations and we wouldn't hesitate to take another Rick Steves' tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Other than the Dolomites and Cinque Terre, we absolutely loved our stay near Orvieto!"

Susan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect! The hotels were all centrally located, clean and had beautiful breakfasts. Our guide, Rainer, our bus driver, Sauro had a special working relationship that was really fun, and our entire group was very compatible. The weather was great, and the areas selected were beautiful and special. We learned alot and had so much fun doing it. There was also needed down time to relax. It couldn't have been better planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Accademia Gallery, Michelangelo's David. Awesome in person. Couldn't believe we were standing in front of it. Also, Cinque Terre. So beautiful and the climbing was splendid!"

Andrea

Stillwater, OK

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first meeting the tour was well organized and fun. We had a very compatible group as was the group on our previous Rick Steves' tour. While we began early some days, it was only so that we could do more and was worth the effort. It is obvious that the tours are well thought out and planned so that no day seems to be simply "riding the bus". Our tour leader, Rainer, is a well educated and experienced guide. Our bus driver, Sourer, was professional, but fun with the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in the right spot at the right time. We were able to see church floors with incredible marble mosaics uncovered - only a short time each year. Actually, the wow is the quality of both the tour guide and the local guides. While we could have seen the same things without the tour, we would be unlikely to have encountered such excellent guides."

Joseph

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw and did things on the tour that I would never have experienced if I had to arrange it on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we stopped at the WW II cemetery. Very moving."

Frances

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Italy in 17 days was our 4th RS tour. We obviously like RS tours or we wouldn't keep returning. We feel we know what to expect and what not to. The one thing that stands out about this tour is that we enjoyed our tour companions much more than our other groups. I think there are a couple of reasons for this: Group consisted of more experienced travelers Group made more of an effort to be friendly Initial group introduction and follow-up reinforced the idea of getting to know each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Pieta in Rome. Absolutely the most beautiful piece of art I have ever seen. I only wish the viewing area had been less crowded. I could have spent more time just staring at it and focusing on the piece more intensely and committing it's beauty more to memory."

Liam

Novato, CA

Tour: 09/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour has given me the confidence to explore europe where I may not speak the language. This tour of Italy gave me a "taste" and now I know where I want to go back and spend some more time. the tour was great and the people were the best part of it. I left San Francisco a week before the tour started in Varenna and spent 4 days in London at the Cherry Court Hotel near Victoria Station. Using your London Guide book I explored the city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Because of the Itenery I was able to research every place we went. One surprise that for me was a WOW moment was visiting the Florence American Cemetary. That was very powerful."

Mike

Bellngham, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We're really glad we chose this tour. The schedule was intense and we often wished we had more time at a given location, but as a result we saw so many interesting places! It was nice to not have to worry about finding accommodations, driving down narrow streets, and standing in long lines. We were also fortunate be part of an especially compatible group; we were all friends within a couple of days, and stayed that way. Karin, our guide, was absolutely wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments to choose from! In terms of attractions, I would have to say Michelangelo's David. It carries a positive energy I can't describe, and I could have just sat there for an hour or two. But my favorite destination, hands down, was the Cinque Terre. Monterosso was exactly what I imagined the Best of Italy to be: a small, sunny town built on a hill overlooking the water. We hiked, relaxed on the beach, and enjoyed a romantic evening to ourselves. Nice!"

Kathleen

St James, MN

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I had hoped, and more. The time spent in each location was perfect; any less than two nights would never have been adequate. It's quite obvious that all destinations had been well researched. I liked the "mix" that the tour offered.....2 very full days followed by a day with nothing scheduled in order that we could explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wanted to see all the art that I could in the time allowed. Seeing the Pieta in St. Peter's was my "Wow" moment!!"

Virginia

Pace, FL

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was 17 days of pure bliss. There is not one moment I would change. Our guide was wonderful, full of knowledge mixed in with humor and personal experience. She was the icing on the cake. We loved the good mixture of structured time and free time. The hotels were wonderful. Our group dinners were such a treat. The food was wonderful and such fun to visit with our group. In felt like we were one big family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole 17 days were a WOW! There were wonderful sights and experiences around every corner."

Susan

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more than I expected! Our group was congenial with positive, friendly people ready to undertake whatever activities the day would bring. We visited many cities with a good balance between more relaxed, nature oriented cities and bigger cities emphasizing the art and architecture. I regretted that we could not stay in Venice, Florence and Rome an extra night, but I guess we have a taste of the cities to entice us to visit again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day there seemed to be a new "wow" moment! Too many to count! The beautiful scenery of Lake Como, the Dolomites, and Cinque Terre; the unbelievable majesty, art, and workmanship of the Duomos; the quaintness and personality of the little towns, the canals, buildings, boats, and life in Venice; the beauty of the buildings, the art, and sculptures were all overwhelming. I loved it all!"

Lisa

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations in every way! We loved that the itinerary was organized so that there was time to slow down and relax in the smaller towns in between visiting the larger, more congested cities. We enjoyed great weather and loved our guide, Karin and travelling companions...would travel with them again in a heartbeat! We love the small group size (26), and how much room there was on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite memories will be in the smaller towns of Varenna on Lake Como and the Umbrian hill town of Orvieto, where we stayed at the Altarocca Wine Resort for two glorious nights. We loved the vistas and the ambience so much that my husband and I contemplated hiding out in the vineyards to be left behind!"

Cynthia

Corpus Christi, TX

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour. It was a great way to see and know Italy. Karin was a great tour guide and made the experience enjoyable and enlightening. I loved the surprises, such as the bike ride (not on the schedule), and the ability to do what we wanted. We did a lot of hiking which made it possible to eat a lot and not gain weight. The food was wonderful every where we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the gondola ride. Roy and I were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary and Karin arranged an accordion player plus a woman with a beautiful soprano voice to entertain all of us ( everyone went). We got to ride with the music gondola after dark through the canals and experience a very romantic evening which everyone enjoyed."

Nancy

Ventura, CA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many: seeing The Birth of Venus; seeing The Pieta, walking down the street and coming around the bend to see the Colosseum, observing a demonstration of an Italian making pesto and them getting to eat it as part of a wonderful dinner, walking the wonderful little streets of Varenna, hearing the magical stories of the contradas in Siena and getting to have a meal in one, riding a bike around the wall in Lucca, etc etc."

Rodger

West Deptford, NJ

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first morning in Florence was intended to be a tour of the Uffizi Gallery. We arrived there only to find a union meeting delaying the opening by 2 hours. Our guide Sarah and local guide Cynthia huddled and quickly re-routed us to the Bargello museum. What a save of the morning! What a gallery. It seemed that every time we rounded a corner, there stood a sculpture I have seen in "the books". So much more impressive in person. Cynthia's ability to shift gears and her knowledge was key."

Judy

Elk Grove, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had such a great time on this tour. It was everything I had hoped for in a guided tour. Both of our guides were fabulous and knew the information. If someone in the tour asked a question and the guides were uncertain of the answer, they would research the answer and get back with the correct information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment for me was my first sighting of Lake Como. After we arrived at our hotel in Varenna, we had a balcony with stunning views of the lake......incredible!"

Julie

Monee, IL

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I struggled between "very good" and outstanding since there were a few aspects that could have been handled better, but so much that was done so very well that I decided on "outstanding." I'd say 4.5 out of 5.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was walking into the Duomo in Sienna since I had just missed getting inside that Duomo in a previous trip and was so disappointed by not getting inside. This time I got inside with the group and then in my free time I went back inside and spent all the time I wanted admiring and soaking up the specialness of that place - and I went to the baptistery and the the museum too. No stone upturned! Sarah had suggested I buy the combo ticket so I could do just that; a great suggestion!"

Daniel

Medical Lake, WA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Sarah was awesome. She was very patient, knowledgeable, gave allot of valuable traveling abroad insight. I learned so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well for me it was lake Como, Montarosa and the Dolomites. But all the other areas we stopped at were also impressive to."

Allora

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In the past we have always done our own planning and have been to Italy four times. This tour was very different in that we actually learned so much more about the country. We also enjoyed not having to worry about transportation, tickets to museums, and finding lodging. I appreciated meeting our fellow travelers and spending time with them. This trip included several towns we had not been to before such as Orvieto, Verona, Verenna, and San Gimignano.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hurricane in Florence. Not a planned event!"

George

The Villages, FL

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We tried to see too much in too short of a time. That does not mean that I did not enjoy myself. I loved seeing everything, however, as fatigue set in, things started to become a blur. You don't always get a good night sleep and you are changing beds every 2 nights. All in all it was a great learning experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Lake Como from my room terrce."

Mark

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really loved this tour. The places we visited were outstanding as I knew they would be. I had been to some of them before, but never with a tour guide. What made this trip so special was our two tour guides, they were amazing! Their knowledge of the places we visited, the local culture and customs, the history, all those made the places come alive. And they were so friendly and personable, it made everyone feel very welcome and helped build a little "community" during our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's difficult to pick just one. I enjoyed Lake Como very much, I hadn't been there before and was amazed at the beauty of the lake and the charm of Vernazza and some of the other towns nearby. It was a great way to start the tour, and it made me want to go back there again and spend more time there (of course, I could say that for a number of the places we visited!)"

David

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a 30th wedding anniversary trip for my wife and I and it exceeded expectations in all respects - the various tour locations, the tour leaders, the fabulous group we travelled with - and the food!. We will be doing another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several - 1) the territorial views of Lake Como from our room, upon our arrival in Varenna, 2) the hike to Hutt in the Dolomite Mountains, 3) walking the streets of Venice hand in hand with my wife, 4) getting caught in a freak hailstorm waiting in line for the cathedral tour in Florence (yes.... we staying in line during a hailstorm!). Oh my!"

Mary

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We covered a large range of destinations with a large range and variety of experiences. Did some things I wouldn't have thought of if planning this trip on my own, ie. Lake Como and the Dolomites. The art exposure was wonderful and well explained. Our group was very compatible and our guide fostered our group relations. I did feel we were rushed many times by only having an hour or so in some of our stops and could have skipped Verona and Bolzano in order to spend more time in Venice and Flo

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the beauty of la Rocca, great place with comfy rooms and beautiful views."

Erin

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I really enjoyed the tour. The guides were wonderful, the size of the group (24 + 2 guides) was perfect, and I really feel like we got a ton of different Italian experiences. If we had tried to plan this trip ourselves, there were several places we never in a million years would have found so I appreciate the hard work put into planning the trip by the RS group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many little things that felt like bonuses just for us. Specifically the Hotel Seelaus in the Dolomites, the Alta Rocca Wine Resort near Orvieto, and the Hotel Steno in Monterosso were fantastic! I LOVED the hike and lunch in the Alpine meadow, the forcola workshop demo, the stained glass demo in Siena, and being adopted by the Selva contrada in Siena. We also had a special side trip to the Poggio Alloro agriturismo for lunch and wine tasting that was really fun."

Kathy

West Deptford, NJ

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt the tour delivered in all categories - guides, hotels, food, wonderful cities as destinations, interesting extra side trips, lovely traveling companions. I had never met anyone that took a Rick Steves tour prior to our booking. Normally, I would not shell out that much money without hearing some feedback from someone I trusted. But I had a great deal of confidence and trust in Rick Steves. And I was right! I felt that everything was beautifully & thoughtfully organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many - how do you expect me to select one?! I loved Lake Como, the Dolomites, Venice, the Cinque Terra, Siena (& the dinner in one of the neighborhood community centers in Siena), San Gimignano, Assisi & our lunch in the Tuscan hills at the farm."

Laurence

Elk Grove, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful overall experience. The views, the food, the art, architecture and sculpture were all amazing. Our guide, Sarah, had a terrific way of keeping the group entertained and shifting gears on the fly when adjustments needed to be made.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the view from the Eremo Gaudio in Varenna of Lake Como. We were blessed with sunny skies and the view of the lake from our balcony was breathtaking."

LeAnn

Boulder, CO

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first "tour" with ANY company. We learned culture and customs of regions better than digging through guide books on our own. Much more depth and knowledge gained. Fast group entry to sites, duomos. Transportation/lodging comfort & ease.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alta rocca stay. An exotic place with something for everyone: farm experience, luxurious rooms, wine tasting meal, short hike to a high rock, and even spa/massage facilities for those in need. Plus option of day trip to walled in Orvieta. Close 2nd: Seelhaus stay near Compatsch. Loved the hiking (we and another couple continues afar after the hutte lunch. This high alpine meadow was great scenery ---the Dolomites spectacular!"

Nancy

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded my expectations. Since we didn't speak Italian, taking a tour seemed like a good idea. The itinerary showed us what Italy is about and staying in each location two nights gave us an opportunity to explore the "tourist" things as well as discoveries of our own. Our tour guide, Robin, modified our schedule, depending on the weather, and she was terrific. We were able to hike the Cinque Terre (which was the main reason why we chose this particular tour) before the rains came.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's not fair...there were so many but I'll list three: 1) walking into our room in Varenna at Eremo Gaudio with the fabulous view of Lake Como, this after traveling for 23 hours, we could feel our stress disappear; taking the vaporetto on the Grand Canal and seeing the beautiful old buildings glisten in the sunlight...wow!! A romantic dream come true; 3) coming up from the Metro in Rome to see the silhouette of the Colosseum!! WOW!"

Marilyn

Highland, CA

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, a multitude of interesting sites and great experiences. THANK YOU

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was fantastic--the evening gondola ride organized by our tour guide was absolutely beautiful and will be a great memory. The Uffizi Gallery with the Botticelli paintings was awesome."

Dennis

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were impressed with the "first class" elements of the trip. The hotels we stayed in were very nice, clean, well-located and the people at the hotels were excellent. We thought there was a good balance between group time and individual time. We enjoyed the camaraderie with our fellow tour members. Our tour guide, Robin Dority was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites were spectacular! It reminded me of the Yosemite high sierra area. Also, the gondola ride in Venice was very romantic."

Eric

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized, our guide, Robin, was exceptionally knowledgeable, her ability to stand up in the bus and tell stories involving history in an engaging and informative way, with no notes or prompts was quite remarkable. The tour packed a lot in to the 17 days and where small adjustments were required to handle unanticipated events like the "meetings" by the staff in the Uffizi in Florence, they were handled well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the Dolomites were incredible, lush, peaceful, good for the soul. one of my best moments was sitting high on a ridge walk looking down over the valley and just savouring the moment. The other wow moment was the evening gondola ride in Venice with the lit Rialto bridge in the background."

Chelsea

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My new husband and I went on the Rick Steves 17 day tour of Italy for our honeymoon, which was truly an amazing experience. The guided tour was a great way to spend our honeymoon as it allowed us to see all the major cities and tourists attractions of Italy, without having to plan and book the tickets ourselves, and without having to wait in any lines! It was also really great not having to plan transportation from city to city. Our overall experience was amazing for this once-in-lifetime trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite "wow" moment was hiking in the Dolomites.The Dolomites are a part of Italy I would have never thought to spend time if I was planning a trip to Italy myself, yet it ended up being one of my most favrourite places on the trip. The hotel was very cute with friendly staff, the food was unbelievable, and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. My husband and I went on a 5 hour hike in the Dolomites during our free day, and it was an experience I will never forget!"

Andrea

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour covers an amazing amount of places in Northern Italy. The itinerary for the tour is top notch and provides a very nice mix of busy city with relaxing country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was just absolutely magical once the cruise ships departed at around 4 pm. The Venice gondola ride experience, complete with accordion and singer, was unforgettable. Also enjoyed hiking in Cinque Terre and swimming in the stormy waters of the Ligurian Sea."

Dorina

Summerfield, FL

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent and our guide Robin was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had been to Venice & Rome so time in the Dolomites & Cinque Terre were new & fantastic, the sights beautiful, the food out of this world. The Vineyard at Orvieto with accommodations at the Altarocca Wine Resort outstanding. In Siena the artisan workshop and the dinner with locals at the church were memorable. We loved the entire trip and would like to do a 3rd Steve's trip in the future."

Kc

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I had a very enjoyable time on the tour. We enjoyed the balance of structured learning and touring vs free time. We also enjoyed the diverse areas we saw; whether it be the mountainous regions of Varenna and the Dolomites all the way to the coastline cities and inland major cities. We especially enjoyed the balance of quite regions/cities to the busy major cities. It gave us time to recuperate after some busy days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had two favorite wow moments. The first was the shocking terrain of the Dolomites. We really enjoyed the Bavarian influenced part of Italy as well as all the outdoor activities we could/did partake in. Our second wow moment was near the end of the trip in Umnbria. We were awed by the wine resort we stayed at. It was just what we needed in order to rest up from the tour thus far as well as prepare for busy Rome."

Guy

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was everything I wanted in a guided travel experience. Mary was an absolutely fantastic guide. The trip itself was a wonderful cross section of Italy and exhibited its beauty and diversity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Siena and the visit to the contrada. It really was a rare experience."

William

Arkadelphia, AR

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the most convenient and secure way to learn about the most important sights where you are traveling while at the same time being given the opportunity to explore on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we walked into the room housing the statute of David in Florence and could see this larger than life character whose every detail was outlined in stone, i felt this is unbelieveable. No photo could do this creation justice."

Gail

Randolph, NJ

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our recent trip to Italy. At first I had reservations about riding on the bus every other day for 4 hours but I must say Mary made the time go by quickly. She also kept us informed and gave us plenty of history and stories that kept our interest. I also like how we stopped to tour along the way or have lunch which broke up the ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Varenna . It was so beautiful and relaxing.the Dolomites were also so beautiful!"

Sheila

Okotoks, AB

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very good tour for me, I loved the fact that I could do some hiking but still be on a tour. We did the hike up to the little church when we were at Lake Como, also at Chinque Terre and of course the Dolomites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was seeing Chinque Terre, it was the fact that this tour went there that encouraged me to choose it. It lived up to my expectations and more but would have liked one more day there. Second wow moment was seeing the Dolomites, I had no expectations for there and it was amazing."

Janet

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just what we had anticipated and more. Our group leader and local tour guides were superlative. The itinerary was well thought out so that we never felt that we were on the bus too long, yet we got to see and experience so much. The amount of group time vs. time on our own was also well planned, and we especially liked the group dinners, as they turned out to be events where we experienced local customs. We were also very fortunate to travel with a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During one of our free times in Florence, we decided to walk the length of the Boboli Gardens, following the path taken in the Dan Brown book, the Inferno, which was one of the stimuli for our taking this trip. At the north end of the gardens, we came across the Grotto of Buontalenti, which is not mentioned in our guide book, but definitely should be! It is not to be believed. We stood transfixed, gazing at this awesome cave of both grotesque and gorgeous sculpture."

Alen

Redlands, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Except for the fact that my feet will never be the same, it couldn't have been better!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Dante and Machiavelli, all in one relatively small church."

James

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great. Mary the tour guide was excellent. The group was great. The places we went were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. The realization that the Roman Empire was great because of the Etruscans before them. 2. The Black Plague, along with the Protestant Reformation, and the discovery of the "new" world all occurred in a 150-year period and shook European society to the core. 3. Italian culture was very advanced to create so much commerce that it allowed the arts to fluorish. 4. We should introduce contradas (Sienna) in the US"

John

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very well organized and well run, plus Donald was just full of funny stories & anecdotes. All 19 of us made a very special effort to get along with each other, and the results became obvious as the tour went along. Donald hovered over us and nothing was misplaced and no one was lost for very long or put into any jeopardy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Walking around the corner and seeing all of those statues in front of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. 2. The whole experience of eating at the Hotel Pasquale in Monterosso."

Karen

La Verne, CA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was better than I ever expected. I thought it would be educational and fun and that is how it was! Our guide was so knowledgeable with background information and directions we needed at each place. Pacing was excellent. Hotels were excellent and bus driver was superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that seeing the David sculpture was amazing."

Gary

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the trip very much. The timing of the trip was good staying approximately 1.5 days and 2 nights in each city. The tour guide Donald did an excellent/outstanding job. His historical knowledge and quick witted personality kept things interesting. The size of the group 22 people gave us good mobility. The bus driver Adrian did an excellent job both driving and talking with the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really liked the Lake Como area, and the Siena wine resort, and the beach in Cinque Terre"

Helen

Palm Coast, FL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was excellent and for our first visit to Italy, perfect way to get acquainted with major sites, cities, small villages and water-side locations. Terrific hotel locations with helpful staff. Our meals will never be forgotten. Our guide, Donald, was wonderful, extremely well informed and organized the group like clockwork without us feeling rushed. Very well planned active tour, with nice combination time on our own and planned activities. Size of group was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were arriving and staying in beautiful, serene Varenna on Lake Como; walking the streets of Venice at 6:30 a.m. before the city woke up; opening our hotel window in enchanting Monterosso in Cinque Terre; visiting artisian merchants in charming Orvieto, San Gimignano and Bolzano; and our Umbria resort near Orvieto. Feeling the high energy of Rome and viewing the beautiful architecture."

Mark

Shaker Heights, OH

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Tour Guide,Sarah, was terrific in many aspects. She was very knowledgeable about Italy, the language as she spoke it fluently, the dinners she planned were awesome, the sights -planned and impromptu-were very educational. Many commented during the tour that this exceeded their expectations and I certainly agree. The guides that she used for Venice, Verona, Rome and Orvieta were great and they complemented Sarah very well. The restaurant tips were excellent e.g. Nella in Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop in San Gimignano was great as it was completely unknown amongst the group. The wine tasting, lunch and tour of the vineyard/farm was super. The walk thru the old village was quite impressive and the views of Tuscany were "postcard perfect"."

Charlotte

Sun City, AZ

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific! Sarah's the best tour guide imaginable, knowledgeable, friendly, energetic - just right. The basic tour itinerary gave a great overview of northern Italy, and the "specials" such as the contrada dinner or the afternoon wine tasting across the lovely valley from San Gimignano were indeed treats. I now know exactly the areas I want to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I tried to "bottle" many moments to remember in sight/sound/sense - hiking in the clear mountain air of Alpe di Siusi; opening shutters onto the Monterosso beachfront at sunrise; walking to breakfast in Umbria before the mist had even cleared the vineyards; and waiting out the afternoon rain in the Siena Campo when the sun suddenly cut across buildings making the clock tower glow against the dark clouds and full rainbow."

George

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A few flaws, but overall the tour was well-organized and well-led. It's too bad that the constant fighting huge and rude crowds detracted from the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's one thing to read about buildings and works of art in books -- it's so much better to see them in person! Also, the tour contained some unexpected surprises, including the Dolomites and Cinque Terre."

Barbara

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations! Accomodations were very satisfactory. I thought the plan of the trip was terrific. It started out in relaxed fashion, which allowed for the stress of travel and meeting new folks. There was a nice ebb and flow of locations and activities. I liked the balance of planned activities and free time with suggestions for other activities. I appreciated the opportunity to be more active - climbing to the castle in Assisi, climbing the tower in Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the "David" in Florence. It was made more meaningful by our guide suggesting how to look at him - going to where Goliath would be standing, observing the expression in David's face. It opened me to a whole new way of looking at thin."

Antoinette

Odenton, MD

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trying this for the 3rd time. Looks like I cannot minimize. We took a group tour as we felt arranging travel in a country that can be prone to strikes would add stress to our visit. The tour exceeded our expectations. Our guide, Sarah Murdoch, was amazing. We traveled to many places (the Dolomites, Cinque Terre, Assisi) that we probably wouldn't have visited on our own. And our fellow group members were interesting, involved, and added to our overall enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyone says they had many and that is so true. My favorites were: turning the corner in Florence, seeing the Duomo and being awed, then turning further, seeing only the Duomo filling the horizon and being overwhelmed; sitting and looking up in the Sistine Chapel and gazing at Michelangelo's unbelievably beautiful and detailed depiction of creation; basking in a perfect September afternoon at an agritourism farm while enjoying a wine tasting and the company of fellow tour members."

Marianne

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible journey! Seeing so many beautiful places, being able to see things off the beaten path, meeting the people and the artists - it was one of the very best travel experiences I have had. I only wish we'd had an extra day in some of the larger cities - Florence, Venice, Siena, Rome - but that just means I'll have to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to articulate a favorite moment there were so many of them. But I guess one that I wasn't expecting and was utterly enamored with was the additional information about Siena's Palio. I knew about the race, but learning about the neighborhood Contrada traditions - and having a Contrada create a meal for us and share the traditions and their win in 2011 was unexpected and over the top. I LOVED IT! (and I bought several of the Contrada scarves to share with my loved ones as a resul"

Ginny

Poway, CA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't have imagined a more perfect vacation. Sarah is the most outstanding tour guide ever! Her knowledge, compassion, and patience made for an incredible experience. Thank you Sarah!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from, but I would have to go with our gondola ride in Venice. Calm waters, full moon, and the musicians rode with us on the gondola. It was beyond words!"

Laura

Alta Loma, CA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had the best people on our tour! Everyone got along beautifully. I was pleasantly surprised by the activity level and optional hikes in some of the most beautiful scenery. The group dinners were such great fun, great food, and even better company! This trip will be hard to top!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment was in Florence when we were on a walking tour and we came around the corner and the grandeur of the Duomo was AMAZING!!! what a spectacular building!"

Anthony

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Sarah was beyond outstanding. She was knowledgeable, insightful and she made our entire trip truly enjoyable! We had a great group and this made the entire trip even more enjoyable. Every detail was skillfully planned including hotels, meals and even our excellent bus driver!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment! I celebrated my 57th birthday in Venice. We enjoyed an evening gondola ride and Sarah had a singer and accordion player on one of the gondola's. They sang "Happy Birthday" to me in Italian on the Grand Canal - truly memorable!!!"

David

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour. We saw so much of Italy, the people, the culture, the history and the food and wine. Our tour group was so connected and we had a great time together. Sarah, our tour guide, was so knowledgeable and well organized and this kept our group on track. We also had a wonderful bus driver who was kind, warm and who seemed to care about us. We came home with so many wonderful memories and photos of our experience in Italy. We can't stop talking about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was more than one but the one that really stands out is our experience in Orvieto where we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Altaroca Wine Resort and the town of Orvieto. This place was so spectacular and we loved the meals, the wine and the massage!! It was a very special part of our experience in Italy."

Sharla

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed seeing and experiencing the small towns just as much as the cities that people talk about when visiting Italy. The tour was a good mix of group sightseeing as well as exploring on your own. The hotel accommodations were excellent-comfortable and in central location in the town so it was easy to access after being out seeing the sights. We had a fun group to travel with and have made some life long friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of hiking in the Dolomites and walking along the coast of the Mediterranean in the Cinque Terre. The visits to the two wineries was fun and breathtaking as we relaxed looking over the rolling hills of vineyards. I enjoyed each local guide and their knowledge and passion for their city, museum or town. A special touch was the visit to the local craftsmen to see gondola oar making and stain glass."

Matthew

Alta Loma, CA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time in Europe and I think doing it with the Rick Steve's Tour was the right choice. Having all the details planned and taken care of, great Hotels and locations, the "local feel" of the tour, free time when you need it and a great guide is spot on for a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pretty tough question when the whole tour was "WOW"! All of my wow moments included breath taking landscapes, beautiful architecture and the sights showing and explaining how civilizations were physically built on top of each other."

Maria

Naples, FL

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We knew this tour of Northern Italy would be the trip of a lifetime - and it was! Words cannot express how much we enjoyed this trip! It was truly 'magical' every day! The trip was so well planned for us to experience the large well known cities/towns/sites as well as the small villages, back roads and insider tours. The surprise tours when we met the local experts were the most memorable. This trip is worth every penny - it was a priceless experience you could never plan on your own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments for me to choose just one. My favorite areas were Lake Como and the Cinque Terre - but I was also surprised to love Venice as much as I did. Our gondola ride with a full moon, Italian singer and accordion was at the top of our list for experiences. Hiking in the Dolomites was awesome! Our favorite surprises were meeting the woodworker in Venice, the stained-glass expert in Florence and the farm experience. These experiences would not be found on other tours!"

Francisco

Poway, CA

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was better then i ever expected. Our group consisted of a wide variety of very special individuals. We got along great because we cared for one another and Sarah (our guide) made us feel very special. We fed of her love for Italy and her enthusiasm for history and adventure. Problems encountered during the tour were like hiccups, if you weren't paying attention you didn't even know they occurred, they did not interfere with our tour, and we thank Sarah for that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment occurred in Venice, we walked out of the restaurant and saw this beautiful full moon reflecting of the water...and then Sarah (tour guide) arranged gondola rides for the entire group. Four of us were asked to get in a Gondola, and after we sat down an elderly man and a young girl with what looked to be a suitcase got in with us. I was clueless as we launched, and then an accordion appeared and the nice man started serenading us under a full moon...it was amazing!!!"

Patricia

Shaker Heights, OH

Tour: 09/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found this tour very fulfilling. I enjoyed the size of the group and the people who composed it. Sarah was a fantastic guide who provided many delightful surprises for our group. The travel on the bus and the multiple moves among various hotels were surprisingly smooth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was a delightful surprise. It was breathtaking."

Walter

Newcastle, ON

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Felt very comfortable with how the tour was organized. It took out all my stress of planning to see what we would see next and how we would find it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was my no. 1 WOW moment....and a close 2nd was the Basilica in Rome!"

Bruce

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since I paid a reasonable price, I was expecting a stripped down tour. Rick Steves exceeded my expectations on 3 levels: 1. I was expecting sketchy hotels in iffy neighborhoods. The rural hotels were jaw dropping, and the urban hotels were always clean and well located. 2. Rainer was knowledgeable enough to lead all the city tours, but the passion and variety of the city tours we received was truly amazing. 3. After seeing other mega-groups tour, I was thankful for our size of 27 people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking in the Dolomites! So many other tours skip that because it's out of the way between Lake Como and Venice. Just as important as seeing the big three cities of Italy, is seeing the villages and the towns. Our hike in the mountains will never be forgotten."

Kevin

Kingston, ON

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was not just a travel experience but also an educational one. Our guide was knowledgeable about everything from history to art to to the culture to sourcing the best gelato in every stop. I enjoyed the fact that we were not scheduled every minute and we were encouraged to jump into the cities, getting lost to find ourselves. I could not imagine trying to plan and execute this trip on my own. I felt prepared for every stop and this helped us take it all in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The times when I found myself exclaiming "Oh my" was in some of the churches and definitely the galleries. But I suppose the best was sitting on our balcony in Cinque Terre watching the rise of a full moon over the hills after a great supper. Doesn't get much better."

David

Kingston, ON

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely enjoyable and so well organized. Rainer was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. As a group we clicked, Venice was Venice, the hiking and the Lake Como area, but the most memorable parts were the interactions with experts talking about stained glass, pesto, gondola oar making and the Sienna Rhino evening"

Bernard

Aurora, IL

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Rick Steves Italy in 17 Days Tour exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was well planned, our tour guide was outstanding, the hotel locations were very good, the bus was top of the line and not crowded, our group was extremely congenial, the group meals were of high quality and provided a great opportunity to get to know our fellow travelers, and we have become firm believers in traveling light. We will be back for more Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On this tour there there can be no one favorite "wow" moment; there are inevitable multiple "wow" moments: hiking in the Dolomites, taking gondola rides in Venice, turning the corner and seeing Michelangelo's David in Florence, seeing Luca Signorelli's frescoes in the Chapel of San Brizio in Orvieto, walking out of the subway in Rome and seeing the Colosseum, and of course, walking through the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica."

Eric

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a really good time, and there were no real complications or difficulties. Our accomodations were fine, if not deluxe for the most part, and the hotels were well-located in terms of seeing the big sights. Our guide, Rainer, was very helpful, courteous and hard-working, and we all appreciated his efforts. I'm looking forward to taking my next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were walking along a road in RioMaggiore in the Cinque Terre, and we came by a church from which organ music was coming. The door was open and we walked in, sat down, and enjoyed about a 15 minute "concert" from the organist, who was practicing. It was delightful!"

Maria

Newcastle, ON

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! First time on a Rick Steves' tour, however, an avid watcher of his tours on PBS channel. The tour met every aspect of my expectations. Did not feel like cattle being led, instead, took out all the headaches/stresses of trying to organize and not miss anything that I dreamed of seeing......this tour is making me long for more!!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everywhere we went, there was a WOW moment in each place, and each WOW was for a different reason. I always knew I would love Italy, but the greatest WOW is how much in love I am....from the scenery to their history, to the people, to the food! (pictures, postcards, movies do not do justice to the way you feel walking, feeling and looking in/at the rich history of Italy) The biggest WOW is......I wanted to savour each WOW longer. I wish the tour was 1 night longer in each place."

Patricia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide...so knowledgeable, relaxed, personable and attention to details. Hotels were great, except one in Venice which had faulty hairdryer but we told them about it! Itinerary is packed with important stops. Probably could have spent 1hour or less in Orvieto because the Wine Resort was so wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many! Sensory overload of art. Dinner in Kastelruth was wonderful, and the town is charming."

Genie

Napanee, ON

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It could not have been better. Everything was really first rate in terms of our incredible tour guide Rainer, the hotel experiences (which balance time spent with the importance of location), local meal experiences and fantastic local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly it was the Collesseum in Rome. I say this because my heart was set on Cinque Terre and a return to Tuscany. Those stops met my expectations but Rome blew me away in terms of the magnitude of the amphitheatre as well as the surrounding Forum and the blend with the rest of the city and thousands of years of history. I thought Rome would be so overwhelmingly busy and crowded that I would be turned off but that was not the case at all. I loved the two days there but want more now."

Sally

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of the tour. The pacing was wonderful with more leisurely days leading up to the star filled cities. This was a very well thought out itinerary. We had mountains, the sea, smaller towns and the big cities. A fine mix of "the highlights" of major areas and plenty of free time. Italy is sooooo beautiful. If I go to heaven, it will look like Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Siena! My absolute highlight was having dinner on the square watching the sunset make the towers and the buildings across the square glow as the sky went from cobalt blue, to midnight blue, to navy blue to darkness.Then the lights on the buildings subtly came up. Glorious. That was my best dinner too (although all the group dinners were fantastic)at Ristorante Alla Speranza: Calamari and Shrimp Risotto and Ribollita Soup. Heaven in my mouth!I went to Catherine of Siena High School-so meaningful"

Elizabeth

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very good and BUSY. We got a lot of exercise and got to see and do things most tourists wouldn't, like the meal in the depths of the contrada in Siena, or the forcula making demonstration in Venice. We also liked the stained glass presentation in Siena. Hiking in the Dolomites and the Cinque Terre was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Dolomites - the sharp rise from the ground and the pink color were amazing."

Linda

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour worked very well for us as first time travelers to Europe. It was a good balance of planned time and time on your own. Having the logistics of lodging, travel, local tours, etc planned for us made the entire trip enjoyable and stress-free. The tour stresses being able to walk several miles and handle your own luggage and that is very accurate! I loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several "wow" moments! The Cinque Terra (hiking between Monterosso and Vernazza), seeing how a Forcole is made, hiking in the Dolomites......"

Jon

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We signed up for the Best of Italy tour because we wanted to see as much of Italy as possible, learn as much about Italy as possible. We decided to go one day early and stay one day later. The tour exceeded our expectations in seeing and learning! We knew we would visit 8 cities for two nights each, but we ending up seeing 18 different cities through mid day bus stops and visits to other places while on our free days. This coverage was outstanding. Our tour manager was also outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Cinque Terre and the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. That whole day was fantastic in seeing sites that were so unique and different, special beyond words. We traveled by foot, train, and boat. If we ever come back to Italy, it will be first and foremost to re-visit Monterosso and the other Cinque Terre cities."

Penelope

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great from start to finish. Travel on the bus was comfy, and the wifi was great to have. Jackomo, is an excellent bus driver! The accommodations were clean and comfortable. Some of our rooms along the way had great views too. And everyone on our tour was friendly, which was a plus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few! The Dolomites, visits to the forcola craftsman in Venice and the stained glass maker in Siena, and all the local guides."

George

Pleasant Hill, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fast paced, historical tour covering 2000 years and most of Italy. I was last in Italy 28 years ago and it has changed tremendously. The crowds were unbearable in Venice and Rome, but Ferdi always made the experiece enjoyable no matter where we were.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Cinque Terre, Lake Como, and the Dolomites. These areas were new to me and most enjoyable."

Francine

Shorewood, WI

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was a hectic schedule of beautiful towns and interesting sights mostly in northern Italy. Outstanding local guides, quality hotels, and wonderful traveling companions created a charged atmosphere of camaraderie and curiosity about Italy's history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Ice Man (Otzi) museum in Bolzano was a fascinating look at the beginnings of society. I was particularly intrigued with how the scientists used modern-day forensics to discover how he was killed, how well his people had adapted to their environment, and how metalworking and decorative arts developed."

Barbara

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As a first time Rick Steve's tour participant I was not disappointed in any way. I was not sure about the amount of time on the Bus but found the travel time to be very relaxing. This gave me time to catch up emails,reading, post card writing and of course napping. At times I found the length of time walking and standing overwhelming. The ability to pick and choose the sights I was most interested in seeing and skip a few of the others worked well for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Venice and one "wow" moment would be riding on any of the boats. The Gondola was romantic with the moon over head and the singing. The Vaporettos were exciting and a good way to see things. Having just read a novel about Venice things seemed familiar and my excursion to Murano was challenging. Don't tell Ferdi, our tour guide,but after that adventure I really appreciated the "guided" part of the tours! And Lake Como and the Cinque Terra and the Dolomites and . . . All were wonderful"

Jean

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were very excited about tour since it was our first time in Italy. We were very happy with the itinerary. Our overall experience was dampened a bit by illness three days in to trip that lasted nearly the entire 17 days and required 2 doctor visits. We are very active people so this was pretty frustrating as it limited some of our activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmmm...tough to pick just one. The thunder and lightning in Tuscany was beautiful. We were most enthralled with the contradas in Siena. And of course the wine!"

Paul

Reno, NV

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were pleasantly surprised with having a smallish number of tour participants. Our tour guide, Stephanie and her student guide, Sara were excellent! They both were very pleasant, informative and very personable. Our tour bus driver, Dino, was awesome....having him on our tour was such a delight! Dino sets the bar very high...I hope our next tour bus driver can match him! Overall experience was great....we are already thinking of another tour next year! Met some very nice fellow travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was "wow"...but I particularly liked the Dolomites and Venice. Every aspect of the trip was great!"

Ellen

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Learned lots of things to do from tour guides, but did not have any time to do those things. Two nights was not enough time in each city; three nights would have given us time to explore on our own, independently. We were constantly touring and not enough time to explore. The city day trips were just right on time except not enough time for lunchtime; It was rushed. Also, the late dinners were too heavy for us tourists; most of use were over 50 years and were eating lighter dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several Wows: 1. The view of the Alps and the valley from our room and hiking. 2. The Florence Duomo at night; just a beautiful sight. 3. Touring Lake Como at morning, noon and sunset and all the beautiful cities we visited there, even though it was raining. 4. Viewing Rome from the top of City Government building, even though we did not get to ride up elevator to higher viewing point. Views were all gorgeous Wows! 5. Venice's Grand Canal views from the bridges. 6. The winery/farm tour."

Linda

St Peters, MO

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! We saw so much and felt like we really got a taste of the Italian way of life. Stephanie was a wonderful guide and made sure everyone had the best experience possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The nighttime gondola ride in Venice was definitely a wow moment"

Garry

Asheville, NC

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Greatly exceeded our expectations! Wonderful mix of experienced guides and individual exploration. All accommodations were outstanding, travel experience (tour bus/driver) was terrific, and selected cities/sites were truly wonderful. We cannot praise our guide, Stephanie, enough. She not only guided a long, complex tour, but made every effort to offer additional opportunities for us to enjoy. Thank you very much, Stephanie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moment - walking from the train in Varenna to the shore of Lake Como, our first night's stay in Italy. The beauty of the lake was spectacular and the small town looked (and was) so inviting."

Jim

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

tour was great! As were driver and the guide. Liked that we stayed in San Giamignono instead of Siena. Liked Balzano and Northern Italy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing the Mediterranean for the first time and the spectacular scenery of Northern Italy."

Jayne

Mclean, VA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first R.S. tour. I wasn't sure I was "tour material" as I usually arrange my own travel. Within the first two days, I was a convert. We had a phenomenal group, and an experienced tour guide (Ferdi). This made my first trip to Italy so far above what was anticipated, that it's difficult to even think of any suggestions for what could ever have made it better. We were blessed with sunny weather and amazing local guides, too ....Rome in particular far exceeded all expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"- The Roman Forum. Our local guide (Francesca) had us imagine living in the era as she shared the history....I was in total awe. - I will be returning to Verenna/Lake Cuomo. Stunningly beautiful."

Cynthia

Jeffersonville, IN

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At the beginning of this tour, I received news about someone close to me which sent me reeling. I didn't know how I would handle being in a group after that. Needing private time was no problem. Opting out of a few outings was possible, and it was all I needed to be able to cope. I managed to love this trip, even with the bad news from home. Trina was phenomenal, so patient and knowledgeable, the destinations were great, and the hotels were unique, and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While wandering with Trina and our group through Rome at dusk, we happened on a group of people gathered around a cellist outside of the Pantheon. We stopped to listen a bit. Magical."

Weather

Italy / Milan


Italy / Venice


Italy / Florence


Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Italy: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Milan and out of Rome (“multi-city” on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Italy. Both Milan and Rome are major transportation hubs, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Italy before your tour begins, visiting Milan is a logical choice as we don't spend any time there during the tour. Use the Rick Steves Italy guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Italian and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Milan: Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (reserve from home; details in the Rick Steves Italy guidebook) and Europe's third-largest cathedral, the Duomo. Milan is about an hour by train from Varenna, our tour's departure point, making it an easy pre-tour day trip.

The tour includes a Lake Como ferry pass on Day 2, allowing you to explore the many pleasant towns, such as Menaggio and Bellagio. But if you want more time to explore or hike, you may also want to cruise the lake before the tour begins.

Spending extra time after the tour in Rome? Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing that we do not do as a group:  Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel (reserve ahead to skip the line); St. Peter's Basilica; Spanish Steps; Capuchin Crypt; National Museum of Rome; Ancient Appian Way (great for biking) and catacombs.

Packing

There are some great opportunities for hikes in the Dolomites and the Cinque Terre. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.